If you’re like most LA homeowners, you think little about the mechanics of an air conditioning system. You turn the temperature down, and you’re A/C sends cool air throughout your home. But the thing that makes air conditioning units work–refrigerant–is under scrutiny by lawmakers. We encourage all homeowners to get educated about coolants like Puron. Because when you’re informed, you can make confident decisions about your AC repair, maintenance, and replacement.
Unless you’re an HVAC expert, you may not know that there are several varieties of AC refrigerant. One way to think of refrigerant types is like fuel for cars. There are gas-fueled vehicle engines, while others are diesel-fueled. Cars that run on gas won’t work with diesel, and vice versa. Diesel isn’t available at every fueling station, and the cost of gas and diesel are different.
Refrigerant in an air conditioner is similar. The coolant your system has matters for several reasons:
As of 2020, there are only a few refrigerants that are being used in residential air conditioners.
There are a few other chemicals used for cooling, like ammonia, which are less common.
A quick internet search will reveal hundreds of different names for air conditioner refrigerants. The reality is, there are only a few coolants being used in Southern California. But many refrigerants have special brand names from the producers. Just like how tissues are often referred to as Kleenex®, you’ll find that some people use refrigerant names interchangeably. So even though you’ll find many types of coolant in your research, rest assured there’s only two main kinds.
There are three easy ways to figure out what kind of coolant your air conditioner uses.
Check the label on your outdoor AC –Could you use some fresh air? Then head outside to look at the metal box outside your home called a condensing unit. There should be a label on the unit that shows the refrigerant within your system. While you’re out there, clear away any branches or debris that may block airflow. Read the label on your indoor AC– Putting away decorations or doing some spring cleaning? While you’re in your attic or closet, look at your evaporator coil. It should have a label that states the coolant used in the system. Review your maintenance report– Have you had air conditioner maintenance recently? If so, the technician likely provided you with a report. The summary should include specification data about your air conditioner, including the coolant type. If you haven’t had maintenance recently, please call us! You should have your AC serviced at least annually. We even have maintenance plans to make it easy.
If your air conditioner uses Freon, it’s likely more than fifteen years old. Most customers with units that old deal with frequent repairs, sometimes multiple times a year. And with each repair, you’re probably thinking… is it better to repair or replace my AC?
While most repairs are going to be cheaper than a system replacement, it may not be the best long-term choice for your home. Repairs that require R-22 coolant will get more expensive in the coming years since no more R-22 can be produced. Not to mention that breakdowns are, well, annoying! On a sunny Malibu day, no one wants to come home to a steamy house. With a unit over ten years old, breakdowns are not uncommon.
New AC units made with Puron have lots of benefits. Of course, a new system will mean fewer breakdowns as long as it’s maintained. Modern units with R-410A are also much more efficient that your current A/C. That means your energy bills could drop significantly once your new, energy-efficient system is installed. Finally, Puron is widely available to technicians, meaning that any repairs that require the coolant will be affordable.
If the cost of replacement is holding you back, you have options. HVAC financing is available. During the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) there are usually great HVAC specials and deals available. Not to mention, your local energy provider may offer an incentive in the form of rebates for you to replace your AC as well.
Brody Pennell offers top-notch products from the industry leader, Carrier. Carrier has a long-standing reputation of quality and reliability. In fact, Willis Carrier is the one that invented air conditioning! So, when you replace your AC with Brody Pennell you can trust the equipment is the best you can get.
We offer a range of R-410A products, from the energy-efficient Carrier Infinity line to the reliable Carrier Performance Series. Our friendly and approachable team can help you find the right fit for your home. Our specialists can also advise you on options to make your installation more budget-friendly, like available financing and rebates. Call us today at (310) 896-4911 or schedule an appointment online.
Although homeowners won’t need to worry about any new coolants for a while, here at Brody Pennell we want to keep you informed. Some lawmakers are considering the phaseout of R-410A, including the state of California, the California Air Resources Board, and EPA SNAP. Before you panic, don’t worry. There is no set phase-out plan for R-410A refrigerants in residential A/C equipment.
However, scientists are already at work developing a replacement. The innovators at Carrier have already developed the next generation of refrigerants. Starting in 2023, Carrier’s new R-454B (Puron Advance™) is an optimal balance of performance, safety and sustainability. It has a lower potential for global warming than R-410A and offers just as much in the way of equipment performance.
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