As the temperatures begin to rise and we start thinking about getting AC tune-ups in order to prepare our ACs for the blistering heat of Utah summers, you may need to take a look at your unit’s refrigerant. There are two main types of refrigerants: R22 and R410A, also known as Freon and Puron. Your refrigerant is the part of your system that’s responsible for cooling the air down inside your home, and can also heat the air if you have a heat pump. As you can imagine, it’s one of the most crucial parts of your system, so the difference between R22 and R410A matters a great deal.
Though R22 and R410A are both refrigerants, they aren’t interchangeable, and you will likely need to upgrade your system if it has an R22 refrigerant. If you have an older system, chances are that it has an R22 refrigerant – which has since been phased out and banned by the Environmental Protection Agency. If that’s so, it would likely be the better choice to upgrade your system to one that is compatible with an R410A refrigerant.
Here’s what you need to know about the difference between R22 and R410A for your AC’s refrigerant so that you can understand why R22s have been phased out and why they’re being replaced with R410As.
The Differences Between R22 And R410A
As we’ve mentioned above, R22 refrigerants have been banned and new air conditioning systems are designed to be compatible with R410A refrigerants instead. Why the phase out? What’s the difference between R22 and R410A, and how is it so significant that the Environmental Protection Agency itself necessitated that R22s be replaced with R410As?
What You Need To Know About R22 Refrigerants
R22 refrigerants are no longer used in new AC systems, due to the fact that they harm the ozone layer. The key difference between R22 and R410A is that R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon while R410A isn’t. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are chemicals that have been the most responsible for damage to the ozone layer over the past few decades. Since steps, such as banning R22s, have been taken, damage to the ozone layer has slowly started to reverse.
This matters significantly because the ozone layer is responsible for protecting us from harmful UV B radiation. UV B radiation causes skin cancer, cataracts, and hurts both animals and plants alike. By government regulation, R22 has been discontinued, in order to protect us from said harmful radiation. Thus, if your AC system has an R22 refrigerant, it’s recommended that you upgrade it, as it can be both costly and difficult to fix in the event that your system needs a recharge.
As of January 1, 2020, R22s are no longer manufactured in the United States or imported. If your air conditioning unit still has one, it is much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly to upgrade your system to one that is compatible with an R410A refrigerant.
What You Need To Know About R410A Refrigerants
Since the Environmental Protection Agency began phasing out R22s back in the early 2000s, air conditioning systems have since been designed to use R410A refrigerants instead. The major difference between R22 and R410A is that R410As are significantly more efficient and environmentally friendly. Not only are R410A refrigerants more eco-friendly, they also perform better. Most modern air conditioners now use R410As.
Why Switch From An R22 To An R410A?
If you’re having an AC tune-up and your technician notices you have an R22, they’ll likely recommend that you upgrade to a system that is compatible with an R410A. Unfortunately, they cannot simply switch each other out, as they are incompatible and operate at different pressures, however, you’ll find making the upgrade is the more cost-effective choice in the long run.
We recommend that you make the change from an R22 to an R410A for multiple reasons that extend beyond the fact that R22s are banned now. Some of the key differences between R22 and R410As that serve as compelling reasons to make the switch and upgrade your system include:
- Reduced ozone damage, as R410As are more eco-friendly.
- Reduced cost. R22s are very hard to find now, which makes repairs incredibly expensive.
- Increased efficiency and performance. R410As perform better than R22s, which also saves you money on your energy expenses.
If you need to have an AC tune-up or are wondering about the differences between R22 and R410A refrigerants and whether or not you need to upgrade your system, R&D HVAC is here to help. Contact us today for more information or to set up a service!