What’s the Difference Between R-22 and R-410A?

AC Heating Connect Service Tech uses an iPad 6 for important HVAC information

One of the hottest discussions (pardon the pun) within the air conditioning and heating industry is the difference between two refrigerants – R-22 and R-410A. As a homeowner considering a purchase, it’s important that you understand the difference so you can make the best decision for your system. We’ve outlined below the main differences and why they matter.

R-22

  • Often referred to by a brand name like Freon®
  • As of 2010, R-22 was discontinued for use in new air conditioning systems
  • R-22 is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) which contributes to ozone depletion

R-410A

  • Often referred to by a brand name like Puron®
  • Has been approved for use in new residential air conditioners
  • Is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) which does not contribute to ozone depletion
  • Will become the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems in 2015

Performance Differences

Newer air conditioning models are designed to be used with R-410A for reliable and more efficient operation. Because R-410A can absorb and release more heat than R-22, your air conditioning compressor can run cooler, reducing the risk of compressor burnout due to overheating.

R-410A also functions at a higher pressure than R-22, so new compressors are built to withstand greater stresses, reducing the chance for cracking. If you were to put R-410A refrigerant into a system designed for R-22, the pressure would be too much and the unit would break.

All air conditioners use an oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation. R-22 air conditioners 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.

Dry Charging

While R-22 was outlawed in 2010 for use in new units, some companies are taking advantage of the law by producing what’s known as ‘dry charge’ units. These are new units that don’t have the refrigerant installed at the factory. Instead, a technician is required to come out to your home and install the R-22 refrigerant. While this practice is technically legal, this isn’t the best option for the following reasons:

  • There is a limited supply of R-22 and its price will increase as supplies diminish
  • R-410A offers greater efficiency, saving you in energy costs, and is much better for the environment
  • Dry charged units typically offer much shorter warranty periods

What have you heard about these two refrigerants? We can help give you unbiased answers!

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291 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between R-22 and R-410A?

  1. https://www.ashrae.org/

    is the place everyone should be going to get their data.

    enough with all these presumptions and here-say !

    if you want to play engineer … get the data and do so.

    If not, just buy an integrated system and stop screwing around with here-say and local technicians … most of whom are guessing …

    Be well

  2. I have a rental house that has a heat pump/air handling unit. Four years ago I had to replace that AHU, because that electric coils were shot. (Unit was 17 years old.) Now after several hail storms here in the Midwest the past two years, the fins are bent so bad that my contractor says that straightening the fans out will not help the efficiency of the unit. I told him to go ahead and replace the condensing unit, which he gave me a quote to do.
    When the unit arrived, to my property, the service tech realized that the unit ran R410A instead of R22A. {My Salesman discovered after I signed the contract, that condensers with R22a are no longer available.} After several discussions with my contractor, he decided to replace my evap coil at no charge to me. Going from a heat pump to a standard condenser unit, if you replace the evap coil, shouls work alright, shouldn’t it?
    Thanks,
    Rich

    • First of all, R22a is propane. It’s ridiculously cold and efficient but not legal in the US except for window AC and retail fridges/freezers. It’s possible to install it in your AC, and there are YouTube videos to demonstrate from before it was illegal, but contractors will be very angry if they come to work on it and contaminate their gear, thinking it’s Freon. Besides, you don’t want to use it because you haven’t personally seen that there are NO LEAKS in your system. Propane is only safe if there are NO LEAKS, so I can’t recommend it in your case.

      What you’re likely referring to is R22. You can still buy condensers for R22, just check the used AC lot in Florida. I’m not as familiar with heat pumps as I am with plain AC, but unless there’s a big difference I see nothing wrong with replacing both the indoor and outdoor sides at the same time.

      If you’re able to save some money checking the used AC lot, my next advice would be to splurge for some real R22, not any of the replacements. Of course, this is after your contractor fixes any possible leaks. R22 is expensive.

    • I am assuming you mean R22 and not R22a as hcb suggests. Also the indoor coil and outdoor unit need to match to work properly. I’m not sure what you are going to do for heat if u don’t replace the heat pump outdoor unit but I guess u have that covered. In any case they need to match for capacity and control valves etc so you should ask about this to be sure.

  3. Pingback: Rising Cost of R-22 Refrigerant - What It Means for Your AC Repairs | Stellar Services

  4. Our 17 year old central air unit that uses R22 is being replaced with one that uses 410A. One installer said the copper line that was used for R 22 is not the right size for R410 and that we would need to replace it with a different size. A different installer said the copper line that we have would be fine. They would cut out the exposed line, flush out the old and weld new pieces on to replace what was cut out. Who’s right?

    • As long as they clean and flush the old lines and inspect all the braze joints for leaks before recharging it you might be ok with your old lines. Sometimes there are problems with leaks at the joints and bends with the old lines so it is a risk versus cost call. If you want to reduce the risk of leaks and problems down the road it might be worth running new lines for your new system. It is important that you and your contractor are on the same page with this because I doubt if the manufacturer’s warranty will cover problems with the line sets. I hope this helps.

        • I have another question. According to the AHRI website, the model my installer wants to use is discontinued. Is that a problem? Will he be able to get parts for it in the future?

          • Like most appliances, over time the availability for replacement parts goes down and the price goes up. Given the large installed base, my guess is that for a few years or maybe many more more you can still get parts and refrigerant but prices will make you want to move on to a new system.

  5. I have a 410a system. Can I add r22a to top it up. Mechanics want over $300 for a top off and I can’t legally buy 410a on shelf.

    • Mixing refrigerants does not work for long and may not work at all. Systems are designed for certain refrigerants and mixing them leads to low cooling performance and possible component failures. Suggest you keep shopping for a contractor who can check for leaks because sealed AC systems (they are all sealed BTW) do not need to be “topped off”. There also might be other problems going on and more charge could make it worse not better if it is not just a leak. This happens a lot unfortunately. Have someone run a full diagnostic so you know for sure.

    • [If you’re in the US] Unless your state prohibits it, you’re supposed to be able to buy R410a without a license, since it’s an HFC. In other countries, there’s no telling what they say about R410a but I would understand if it were illegal.

      And no, NEVER use R22a (propane) in a system unless you’re SURE it has no leaks. If you do use it, it must be used alone, not mixed.

  6. Hello Rick,

    I have a older HVAC unit (2002), which uses R22 freon. There’s been a leak over the years. I’ve had freon added back around 20010, and had to have more freon added this year.

    Here is my question. The HVAC company that added the freon was using a pinkish/light red container. I did not think it was an issue until I did some research which appears to show that R22 tanks are light green. Now, I’m wondering if I was given the wrong freon.

    Do you have any idea how I could be getting R22 out of what appears to be a R410A container? If this is what happened, then what is my next course of action?
    Is my AC system now ruined, or is it not too late to remove the incorrect freon (if this is what’s happened)?

    • You might check the receipt or invoice. It should state what refrigerant was used. If it is not on there on the itemized bill, you might try calling to contractor to check and ask them.

  7. Hi Rick, I have a R22 multihead system installed in my apartment for 12 years. There are three indoor units and one compressor. One of the indoor units have been playing up started about two years ago such as stopped running suddenly and causing other units to stop at the same time as well as not cooling or heating very well. The other two units are still working but they are not cooling or heating as well as they were used to be. These issues were fixed by a technician about 7 months ago but unfortunately the unit is still not heating or cooling well and also the unit will stop after running continuously for a few hours. I would like to seek your opinions as to if it is still worthwhile to get it fixed by getting a second opinion from another technician or is it better to replace the old R22 system with a new R410a system. There are a few manufacturers such as Panasonic and Daikin advertised that their new R410a system can be used without having to change the old pipework designed for R22 system if the old pipework is to be flushed by using nitrogen by a trained technician. What is your opinion on this procedure? Should I repair or replace the whole system? What’s the best option for me? Thanks a lot!

    • The life expectency of home or light industrial compressors is 8-12 years … you are at 12 and so … simply put … you need to flush the system … and cap it … vacuum out all the old refigerant and oils and contaminants … and replace the compressor and drier and filter assemblies / components … then … pull a hard vacuum on the system … flush it again, and hard vacuum it again … and refill it with refrigerant …

      not complicated …

      machines wear out …

      major components need fluid replacement and component replacement …

      bet you did fluid replacements and some component replacements on your car / vehicle in the last 12 years … and if not, it would probably quit working too …

      stuff wears out, replace the worn compressor, control valve and selenoid, and the drier systems components, suck it dry and vacuum and put good clean refer fluid back

      it will work again

      simple

  8. We just replace all of our 20 year old units. I have to say I feel hot around our house now. I use to wear light jackets when the AC is set but now I can walk around without the jacket. I feel that the new coolant is not as effective as the old one. Any comments?

    • A change of refrigerant shouldn’t make a night-and-day difference in home AC. The real issue with R410a is electrical efficiency (cooling per watt) not vent temperature.

      There may be other factors at play here. To better understand your issue, I’d need to know: how hot does it get outside, how low do you set your thermostat, and is your house insulated?

      • After getting my Rocksteady 18 year old spec home AC system replaced with the new fandangled r410 two and a half ton compressor and air handler. Now we have to run the Air 2 degrees cooler with our brand new system then we did with our 18 year old system just to try and get it to feel as cold as the older system made us feel. In the end I don’t care about your mathematics your equations or any of the other crap if I don’t feel cooler with my new system even while running at 2 degrees cooler I don’t care how many stories you tell me this Freon R 410 is garbage. I think somebody better start getting on the ball and coming up with an additive to add to it to get our flipping houses performing like the old R22 systems wood. Right now I care less about efficiency and your stinking High pressures I expect to feel colder and to be able to run my thermostat at a higher temperature then I did with my 18 year old system. Ozone depletion? Come on are you sitting on those melting polar ice caps with Al Gore? After constantly calling the AC installer back several times because we just we’re not cooling off even though the thermostat was telling us that it was cold in the house there is an obvious difference between the old and the new. And this time the EPA regulations after speaking with a friend of mine that is an AC contractor and I was telling him everything I have been through with my system he told me that the new r410 Freon is not really free on and that’s why the cooling efficiency is less. Yeah you can say I’m ticked off at the HVAC industry right now for allowing all of this to go through and drinking the Kool-Aid and trying to get us all to assimilate to a lower standard.

        • Sorry to hear that you got rid of your R22 system. The more stories I read like yours, and there seems to be quite a few, the more I will hold onto our nearly antique Whirlpool green “wedge” that came with our house in 1979. Yes, the system is nearly 40 years old and still running as strong as the day we moved in. My kilowatt usage has not varied the least little bit and I’ve never had to call an A/C service company to fix it since bought the place nearly 20 years ago. I do all the work myself, cleaning out the units, oiling the motor bearings, replacing worn out relays and capacitors and checking the in vs. out air temp and it’s always a constant 20° difference even on the hottest days here in central Florida. When my system finally gives out I’ll just get it fixed and switch to the new AC-77 refrigerant. AC-77 is a direct replacement for R22, in fact, it operates at a lower pressure than R22 and is compatible with both mineral and alkylbenzene oils found in R22 systems. It’s also non – flammable & non- ozone depleting and its cost is reasonable…Found a new, 25 lb cylinder of it on ebay for $275 with free shipping. Of course, to buy it you must have the proper credentials.

  9. I have a 25year old (original) York split system a/c home unit. I move the ac unit a little to cut a bush that was obstructing it and going to the condenser fins and damaging/bending them a bit. By moving it, I bent the freon line and crack it causing it to leak all the R-22 refrigerant. I already sealed and sauder/welded the leak and need to add refrigerant. What refrigerant is recommended for a r-22 unit or compatible if I’m unable to find R-22 refrigerant for my home ac unit? Is there a refrigerant identical or equivalent to the R22 that I may use. Please advice .

    • Normally I advise people to keep their R22 AC units, but if yours is from 1992 then you may actually get better EER by replacing it with a modern R410a system. If you really want to keep it, I would advise you to save up for some R22. If you can’t afford that, the next best thing for existing R22 units, in terms of vent temp and energy efficiency, is propane (R290). It is quite safe if done right but illegal in the US for central AC because DuPont can’t patent hydrocarbons. Whatever you fill it with, be sure to draw a perfect vacuum and make sure it holds. This will make sure you don’t have any leaks before you fill it and is especially important if you spend a lot on R22.

      • When R12 became ridiculously expensive I filled my leaky GMC Jimmy’s A/C system with propane and it worked fantastic except I had to be mindful to shut the compressor off every 5 minutes or so to keep the evaporator from freezing up. I could almost make it snow inside the truck on the hottest day here in Florida even with the blower on high. And propane costs nothing compared to what R12 was back in 1998.

        • Yes, propane does wonders in AC. In Canada and 31 US states (from what I’ve read), it’s legal to charge car AC with a mix called HC-12a, consisting of propane and isobutane. That’s what I would do because it’s more matched, pressure-wise, to R134a than propane is. Pure propane more closely matches R22.

          • My former boss once owned an HVAC business and he said butane also works well in A/C units. I’m not a formal HVAC technician but have done a lot of experimenting in my day.

      • Thank you HCB. It was really great advice. I only hoped and wished I’ve seen your comments or reply sooner. Unfortunately, I had a licensed AC contractor come to my residence and check out my unit. I mentioned to him that my freon line had cracked and I was able to fix, sauder and weld it back together and sealed all leaks. All I really needed was to recharge my unit with new Refrigerant. He checked for leaks and suggested he add R407c since all freon leaked out and is the only compatible or equivalent refrigerant to my existing R-22. He did not flush the system out, or vaccumed it out completely and just added R407c to my unit. He said is all converted and good to go? He said he almost added the whole 25lbs of refrigerant he had to my unit. Approximately 1 hour of diagnosis and labor, the unit turned on and blown cool air but not as cold/chilled as it use to, I paid him $600 and he went on his way. One day later the cold/cool air stopped and my unit only blows regular air or what you call air fan and that’s it. What could have happened to my unit? I tried calling him back and is unavailable to reach and all calls are sent straight to voicemail. I left him plenty of voicemails messages and has yet to reply me back. I text him and try calling him plenty of times and nothing. I felt I was conned and ripped off. Did he do a complete conversion/ retro-fit as needed? Did he damaged my unit? Please advice. I need cool air now asap. What should I do??

        • Well, R407c is one of the few approved R22 replacements in the US. It’s obviously not going to perform as well as R22 or they would’ve been using it already.

          Australians do Freon-to-propane retrofits all the time with night-and-day cooling results. Frank would prefer if I stopped advocating that option, and to be honest I readily agree in your case since your unit is leaky. Because of that, my advice is that you have two options: save up for pure or reclaimed R22, or upgrade to a modern R410a system. At this point, I would just upgrade. R410a is bad news, but probably not as bad as an R407c upgrade.

          If you decide to keep fixing your setup, you at least know now that you probably didn’t patch all the leaks. You’ll want to draw a hard vacuum and make sure it holds for many hours. There is no room for error. If you draw the vacuum and turn off the pump, it should be at the same pressure reading hours later. You NEED this kind of crazy tolerance, otherwise you will lose refrigerant again and you will regret it if you saved a lot to buy R22.

          • When R407C is used to recharge an R22 system then the old oil needs to be changed and the lines need to be flushed to get rid of the old oil. R22 systems use mineral oil and R407C (and R410A) use synthetic POE oil. R407C is not compatible with mineral oil. You can ask another contractor if the R407C can be reclaimed and if you can have your system cleaned and flushed before putting the R407C back in. You might need to replace a few components too but a good contractor can tell for sure and have them check for leaks again too. They should also be able to tell if anything else is wrong before putting more money into it. On the other hand, you might be better off with a new system with a new warranty.

    • Thanks to all who have posted suggestions to this thread but I have to jump in here just to clarify the site’s position on this topic – some of which were already mentioned. by others.

      It is always important to use proper refrigerant replacements in re-charge situations. While there are may so called, R22 replacements on the market today, they come with some specific instructions and for newer systems, they also come with disclaimers from the system manufacturers so you need to check those out. For sure, R410A will not drop in very well, if at all, for a system designed for R22 and could cause poor performance or damage – the pressures are all wrong for the components. R-407C has been a popular, and approved R22 replacement now for a while, but you have to change the oil (from mineral oil to POE oil). This site also does not recommend using flammable refrigerants (e.g. propane and butane) as replacement refrigerants for any re-charging situation, but especially in relatively high charge systems like residential and commercial AC – the focus of this site. There are design guidelines in force today for the use of these refrigerants in the US so you might want to also review those. This site is intended to be a help site for homeowners and business owners who want to learn more about their AC systems. For more technical information about this topic from a contractors perspective there are other more suitable sites to get those details. In general, we recommend using a qualified contractor for major repairs or replacements.

      • Good points, Frank. I agree about hiring a qualified contractor and I certainly don’t mean to imply that this site endorses hydrocarbon refrigerant. I just wanted people to know a bit more about HC’s vs conventional refrigerant so they can make an informed decision (especially if they live outside the US) since there’s a lot of misinformation going around.

        • No problems. Thanks for clarifying about the regulation differences in the US relative to other geopolitical locations. I forgot to mention that. I enjoy your posts and hope you keep visiting our site!

  10. I have a 6 year old Luxaire compressor unit running R-22. I had a small leak that finally got larger and lost the coolant. The leak is in the coil which is from 1993 when the house was built. The coil is inside the furnace which is in the attic of the house and serving the upstairs areas of the house. Did I get taken by my repair guy by installing an R-22 unit in 2011 when new units weren’t being built with R-22? Also, one repair guy who’s worked on the system before told me that the leaking coil can be replaced without changing out the entire inside and outside equipment. Another repair person said that I need to change the outside compressor unit, as well as the furnace and inclosed coil. Any ideas?

    • If you know where the leak is, you can replace just that component. You’ll want them to recover the refrigerant beforehand so they can put it back in, because R22 is expensive.

      Only car AC leaks refrigerant during normal use, so a central home system should not if it is recent. R22 AC units are reported to sometimes last 30 years, so I wouldn’t say that installing a recently-manufactured one in 2011 was a bad idea. If it were my house, I would just change the indoor furnace part for something at Home Depot or the used AC lot in Florida.

      You were lucky to get your AC fixed before 2015, when they closed the R22 loophole. That means you effectively got a new R22 AC unit after they were largely banned in 2010 and it should last quite a few years, if you have no leaks.

  11. Hi, do we use R-410A 0r R134 A instead of R22? or a Mixture of R22 among two in Split units? i am planning to Replace R22 with 134A for better cooling efficiency.? suggestion please..

    • No, R134a is designed for cars and fridges. It is not advisable for use in home AC. There is no performance or environmental reason to switch home AC to R134a. If this were about a car or fridge, I would recommend HC-12a, legal in Canada and almost all US states. However, since this is about central AC, the only good R22 alternative is R290 (propane) which is not legal for central AC in the US; it is only allowed in window AC and retail fridges. That’s why I recommend you keep using R22 for as long as you can, because it achieves higher EER @ 100+ degF outdoor temps. If you must switch over to R410a, you will need a new outdoor unit at a minimum. But really, don’t switch over until you have to. You’re not doing the environment any favors by ripping out a working R22 unit and replacing with a modern R410a system.

      • hi brother Thanks for advice. i am facing low cooling intensity considering the temp reaches above 42C in summers and the system took time to trip i.e. outside temp 38C and if i set @ 31C it took 30~45 mins to tripped. further i personally compared with other 18000 BTU, i have Mitsubishi Split Air Conditioner MS-GF18VC 1.5 Ton YOM 2014. moreover the Outer unit properly placed at ventilated location. considering above scenario Technician recommended use R134a he also guides using 134a blower must be in max RPM (High), since this gas is for freezer that may cause chocked condenser fins due to which the system got stuck.

        • You may need a new thermostat if it takes forever to trip. My family had an analog one consisting of a mercury tilt switch on a bimetal strip for many years and we eventually bought a digital model. Unlike other HVAC components, they’re easy to install on your own.

          Using R134a still sounds wrong for home AC, because of operating pressures/temperatures not being optimally matched to your pipe sizes, but I’m not as familiar with split AC so I can’t say whether your technician was right to recommend it. I can say that he’s right about using a high-RPM fan. You want to be pushing as much air as possible through the indoor side of your unit.

    • All AC systems are designed to be used with certain, specific refrigerants due to all the components that deliver the cooling process, etc. Changing refrigerants to ones with different pressures and chemical features than the original system design requires can lead to performance problems and other issues including equipment damage. There are some R-22 compatible replacement refrigerants available on the market but these require some work to retrofit. R-410A and R-134a are not suitable replacements for a system designed for R-22. I hope this helps.

  12. Unfortunately the most significant problem consumers and home owners will face with residential R410a split air conditioners is poorly designed, inefficient, and cheap condensing units. This was the case when R134a systems first entered the automotive market. Automotive 134a systems cooled well until there was a hot day and they quit due to the critical temperature of the refrigerant. Believe it or not, these same cooling problems even existed in the early days of cheaply engineered and made, packaged window air conditioners, using CFC refrigerants. Sometimes to get them cooling again, it was necessary to dump a bucket of water on them, or take the garden hose to them. Until manufacturers engineer R410a condensing units with large multi circuit parallel flow coils, they will continue to under perform, consume more electrical energy that translates into increased green house gases and global warming with an even greater potential then R22 ever represented. Eventually residential R410a split air conditioners may equal and exceed older R22 systems, but not until consumers are willing to pay their increased cost and manufactures are willing to engineer and build them robust enough for the toughest conditions. R134a actually cools better than R12 in a properly designed automotive air conditioner. And eventually R410a will see the day too that it performs better than R22 in residential air conditioners if not also phased out like R22 as R410a is still considered a “bridge” refrigerant until something greener is mandated by the EPA.

  13. As a rule I don’t make comments on stuff but I have to say something about our A/C system that came with our house back in 1979 here in central Florida. It’s an old Whirlpool green “wedge” unit and it’s still working perfectly fine. I’ve never had to call anyone out here to service it in the near 18 years we’ve owned the place. Each spring I clean both the inside and outside units and inject light motor oil into the bearing ports of both fan motors (yes, it actually has oil ports for the motors with extension tubes for easy access). The only parts I’ve had to replace in these past 18 years is 3, small relays, 2, motor-run capacitors and a thermistor. I don’t know how much longer this system has to run but I’m keeping it until I “have” to replace it. Some years ago while trimming the trees I accidentally dropped a large limb on the compressor unit, it shattered the fan guard but that’s it. I’d like to see what would happen if the same tree limb came crashing down on one of those newer units. Anyway, I asked one of our A/C guys at the college I work at about replacing it and he said “Don’t” until you absolutely have to. That was some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

  14. I live in Las Vegas and A/C units are pushed to the limit daily during the summer months. That being said I have a 410a unit and I am not happy with it. This is my 3rd year with this unit and every year I’ve had to have the refrigerant put into the unit. Not because of a leak (I guess) but because this 410a is particular as to the amount put into it. Too much/ too little causes A/C unit to either run and not shut off or the air isn’t cold enough coming out of the vent. Either way the continued expense of a 410a/ unit is disappointing to say the least.

  15. Apparently, the thinking was that since folks are always going to be irresponsible and vent refrigerant .. especially from automotive systems … into the air … rather than paying bucks to have it vacuumed out of their system and replaced etc. … that the only rational action to take was to ban refrigerants that are an issue for the ozone etc.

    Actually, sadly, this is probably an accurate assessment … immediate convenience usually trumps long term value to the common cause … just the way humans tend to work …

    However … given that the real necessity for cooling is usually in the hottest areas … 95-120F or so … F-22 was vastly better at providing cooling in that range … whereas 410 struggles massively and eats huge amounts of electricity to do the cooling at anything above 102 F

    So with a 410 unit … the output air is not as cold … and i have to run it vastly increased percentages of the time … and since the air is not as cold … the enthalpy difference has to be made up by running additional fans to distribute the less cool air … making the 410 unit of the same capacity as my F-22 unit about 30-35% more expensive to operate … in reality …

    So what is a fella to do ?

    Me … I am abandoning both … and the -ant struggle and just moving to ammonia … problem solved …

    Ammonia handles a larger temperature range, offers greater cooling capacity, and is easily available without fancy permits or certifications or other horse- non-sense.

    Add to that that ammonia gear is usually industrial and robust and has life expectancies that make the crappy home refer / air con gear look like comparing a Yugo auto to an industrial diesel semi … 30,000 miles to death vs 3,000,000 miles to overhaul …

    so me … i think we should ban r410a as well and just move everyone to ammonia

    there, i said it

    • That would be nice, but it isn’t possible. I already looked into making home AC run on ammonia. You’d need to make a copper-free system, preferably aluminum. Also, you can’t use ammonia directly in AC anyway because if it springs a leak, you’re dead. People who use it for AC are actually using it to cool water which is pumped around to cool a large building. This is not cost-effective (and probably not energy-efficient) for a house, even a large one.

      I understand that R22 is the best but I believe hydrocarbons are the future, not ammonia. Just like ammonia, they’re reputed to surpass the original CFC freons cold- and energy-wise. From what I’ve read, there’s a refrigerant called HC-12a which is widely used in Canada and is legal in most US states for replacing R134a. It’s supposed to be something like 70% propane/30% isobutane. You can find it on Amazon or direct from FrostyCool, Duracool, etc. It happens to be drop-in compatible with R-12 (though the legal weirdness requires you to retrofit to R-134a first), R-134a, and all their respective systems, no oil preference.

      Of course, this is only good for cars and fridges. Home AC still needs a solution. You may want to Google “Davuluri Treatment”. But be warned: experiments involving hydrocarbons, and AC in general, are done at your own risk. Be safe when modding AC units! Read A LOT before trying anything. Not for the environment, but for your personal safety.

  16. My house was built in 2007, so I think R-22 was used in my ac.
    How can I know what kind of refrigerants ?
    If R-22 was used, how can I replace it to R-401A ?
    Thanks.

    • You can read the outdoor unit. If it’s that recent then the label should be in good condition.

      You cannot change from R22 to R410a without at least changing the outdoor unit, but that’s okay because why would you want to change to R410a if your unit works well? R22 can keep up with 100+ degF weather without too much electricity; R410a struggles in that regard.

  17. I live in a home and just had my furnace installed two months ago. The air unit was installed two weeks ago just before high upper 80 & 90’s temperature. Now I’m getting a musty odor from my basement. This hasn’t happen before. I don’t have the freon, I have the newer r2.

    • R-2……sorry, but I haven’t heard of that. However, back to your ‘musty’ odor. With the newer HVAC configurations and ‘higher efficiency’ rating that should not be an issue. The air supplied would be drawn from and exhausted through outside vents. What you appear to be experiencing is ofttimes referred to as “Dirty Sock Syndrome”. Here is a website to explain; hope it help you.
      http://www.horizonservicesinc.com/blog-posts/heating-services/dirty-sock-syndrome

  18. I just had my a-coil changed 2yrs ago and was using freon. Now you’re telling me that I have to change it again for this r410a?

    • The R410A regulation only affects new equipment. As long as you can get parts and R22 refrigerant you can still have it repaired.

  19. Is anyone here familiar with the acronym ‘BOHICA’? We experience it everyday. R12 vs R134A, R22 vs R410A…..it’s the same old story given to ‘we the people’ ……’this is so much better then what we had before, you’ll be amazed at the difference.’
    My HAVC unit was installed a month after returning from Chapter10 -look it up, so the A/C portion wasn’t used until the following year. Therefore, it been used for thirteen (13) seasons, approximately one thousand, one-hundred and seventy day (1170). It’s been used with a programmable thermostat. It was not operating twenty-four hour a day either.
    The unit installed was a WELL KNOWN unit, just ask ‘Dave L.’.
    Anyways, one would believe that after these ‘conversions’ are planned, there would be a way to convert units; like the way cars’ A/C have conversions to accommodate from older R12 to R134……but no, and way (?)….. it all has to do with EPA and Politicans and recouping R&D force upon an industry. Based on my personal usage, my current set-up has cost me -excluding electric usage- $176.92 per year for piece of equipment that gets used ninety days per year. The replacement of this unit would double that; and with talk of yet another type of coolant change we can only imagine what the cost will be.

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