R-22, R-410A… R2-D2? Learn the Differences between Refrigerants

It’s a hot topic in the air conditioning and heating industry (pun well intended): What is R-22? What is R-410A? Do you mean R2-D2? No, we’re not talking about the infamous fictional robot from Star Wars. We’re talking about something even cooler: refrigerants. To make the best heating and cooling decisions, it’s important to know the differences between refrigerants R-22 and R-410A.

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Click the image above, or download the PDF here.

R-22:

  • Often referred to by a brand name like “Freon”
  • Discontinued for use in new AC systems in 2010
  • Is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which contributes to ozone depletion

R-410A:

  • Often referred to by a brand name like “Puron”
  • Approved for use in new residential air conditioners
  • Is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC), which does not contribute to ozone depletion

Fast Facts

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R-410A functions at a higher pressure than R-22, so new compressors are built to withstand greater stresses.

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All air conditioners use an oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation. R-22 systems use mineral oil and R-410A systems use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is generally more soluble with R-410A than mineral oil is with R-22. This means the R-410A system operates more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.

Ever heard of a dry charged unit? Here’s why you should avoid it.

Some companies took advantage of the 2010 law that banned R-22 from new units by producing “dry charged” units. Dry charge units bypass the 2010 law, because new units are created without refrigerants and R-22 is installed later in the process.

Reasons to avoid dry charge units:

  • As limited supplies of R-22 diminish, prices increase
  • Lower efficiency means higher energy costs
  • Dry charge units are not good for our environment
  • They offer much shorter warranty periods

In Summary

R-410A has become the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems. Newer AC models are designed to be used with R-410A for reliable and more efficient operation.

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4 thoughts on “R-22, R-410A… R2-D2? Learn the Differences between Refrigerants

  1. Lies, here are results of a side by side comparison of r22 and r410 in equivalent units. EER is BTUs per watt.
    Ooutdr DB, EER R22, EER R410A
    ODB 75 15.87 vs 15.60
    ODB 90 12.86 vs 12.49
    ODB 100 11 vs 10.42 <— -5.3%
    ODB 105 10.24 vs 9.39 <— -8.5% LOL
    I believe this refrigerant change was lobbied for by the air conditioner manufacturers and we, particularly in the warmer areas, will pay the increased energy and maintenance costs not to mention being forced to buy new AC units.

  2. Lies, this change is not more efficient. This is the result of side by side evaluation as done by an hvac professional. EER is BTUs per watt.
    Ooutdr DB, EER R22, EER R410A
    ODB 75 15.87 vs 15.60
    ODB 90 12.86 vs 12.49
    ODB 100 11 vs 10.42 <— -5.3%
    ODB 105 10.24 vs 9.39 <— -8.5% LOL
    I suspect that this refrigerant change was lobbied for by the Air conditioner manufacturers and we, particularly in the warmer areas, will pay the increased energy and maintanence costs along with being forced to buy new AC units.

    • The charter for our site does not allow us to comment on particular brands, service providers or prices. We would suggest you contact authorized HVAC distributors for refrigerant prices.

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