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

  1. Very interesting page, thanks
    My questions:
    Is it true that R410A-systems are more critical to tube sizes than R22? (my dealer told this to me)
    At the moment I have a R22 18000 Btu LG non inverter split ac (SEER = 10). The tubes are smaller than the producer specification says (liquid line -29%, gas line -21%)
    My tubes: liquid line 4,2mm, gas line = 10mm diameter
    my elevation difference = 5,8m, tube length 9m
    LG specification: liquid line 6,35mm, gas line = 12,7mm diameter
    max elevation difference = 7m, max tube length = 15m
    the ac run for my opinion o.k.
    Now I want change to a more efficient ac TGM optima 18000 Btu inverter split ac (SEER = 23). I do not want change the tubes (only clean), because they are installed under plaster.
    TGM specification: liquid line 6,35 mm, gas line = 12,7mm diameter
    max elevation difference = 20m, max tube length = 30m
    What do you think,
    – will the tubes for a new TGM optima 18000 Btu inverter split ac (SEER = 23) also o.k? How much power will I probably loose?
    – What other things could happen?
    – what could happen in the worst case?
    Why install the producers the capillary tube in the outside unit and not in front of the evaporator? Why this pressure reduction at this place? The system loose max elevation difference and max tube length (and efficiency?).
    Thanks in advance for your answers!

    • Hi Genaro – you can’t us R410A in an R22 system. The components are entirely different and your system will not work very well if it works at all and it could damage it.

  2. Your information is so helpful. Wish I’d seen it before I let this company con me into “topping off” the R22 in my two a.c. units. The company was running a “prep your heating and a.c. systems before the winter” special. Sounded great and quite reasonable until he told me my 2 condensers each need “topping” off with 2lbs of R22 each unit. The cost was $100 a pound!! He did not mention anything about a leak, just that they needed topping off. Hey I’m not an air conditioning expert so I said okay. Oh he also said the top off would last another 5 years.
    After reading many articles about R22, I realize I’ve been had. Freon never needs topping off unless there is a leak. This was an opportunity to cheat an unsuspecting customer, female or not.
    I plan to contact the company and file a complaint. If they don’t give me a partial refund, I plan to complain to the state. California has several agencies that monitor the industry.

    I’d like to get your opinion.
    Elaine

    • You’re right, only car AC leaks under normal use and requires “topping off”. Plus, you don’t want to “top off” a working unit because you’ll increase the pressure and it might lead to sub-optimal performance. A properly-working R22 unit should last a couple decades if it’s set up properly, so 5 years only applies if yours is broken.

  3. I I bought second-hand ac before seven months ago. Previous four days Ac was suddenly stopping. I prefer this website https://www.refrigerantrecoverymachine.com/r22-vs-r410a/ and here i got difference of r22 and r410a. Now, what can I do? Can I change my r22 to r410a? I want to repair myself. But I confuse here that my ac can properly work or not if I changed refrigerant.

    • No, you cannot change R22 to R410a. It just doesn’t work. R410a operates at much higher pressures and needs a tougher compressor designed for it. It’s also not as good as R22 so you’d use more electricity when it’s > 100 degF outside. They still have real R22 but I wouldn’t recommend charging such an expensive refrigerant into a broken AC unit. They also have cheap R22 replacements but they vary in effectiveness and energy efficiency. Most don’t work as well as the real thing.

  4. Yes the pressures are double of the r22 for the 410a, that,s why the industry has been swamped with units failing, compressors and coils. the 410a runs at almost double the pressure, most units are designed for 105 degrees so i was running calls for 3 days of new units not cooling, some were tripping out on high head pressure because a unit runs a head pressure of 425 to 450 when the ambient air temp is 107 so a unit in 120 ambient air temp is pushed to its design limits, hose down the coils with water and walls around it was the only option, for most of the country 410a works great in the southwest it is not as good.

    the units are bigger the coils are bigger because the refrigerant is less efficient.

    Is the r410 a better not by a long shot. google all of the manufacturers with problems and you will see the truth.

    • Hi Brian, Good post. Also, one reason systems are bigger these days is that the government raised the minimum efficiency levels for residential units by 30% in 2006 (10 SEER to 13 SEER) right about the time the industry was moving to R410A with the final phase-out of R22 in 2010. In order to achieve the higher SEER levels the OEM’s had to add a lot of coil and go to more efficient components as well. R410A is different but there were other things going on as well during that change. Thanks for visiting our site.

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INFO! I know I should have checked this info 5 or 6 yrs ago when we had our new heating and air system installed by PSE&G , our south jersey co. I can’t complain about their service , when called they responded usually within 24 hours and we’ve never been charged for refills of the chemical , about at least 10 times!! we’ve been told that the unit s parts have been replaced – at one time or another ALL OF THE PARTS!!! We do pay monthly for repair service in addition to our bill. We have been lucky this year , the air has worked since june but now we’re having a september heat wave, high humidity for a week now and no air!!! The most convincing reason (and we’ve had so many different ones!) is that the new coolant puts tiny pinholes in the copper tubing and thats why it leaks out! Hence ,hot air!!! thanks again for this info , I wish my husband would have looked this up earlier when i asked him to and took an active interest in why all the trouble!! I want to hurt him physically every time he says things like”things aren’t made to last” I still think that things should be made to last!!! and a new system -heat and air that cost 10,000. paid over a years time should last longer than 5 yrs!!!!

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  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

      • You are right technically, anyone legally should be able to purchase 410. But, at least in Florida, the wholesale suppliers only sell to HVAC licensed techs only. (Most of the time) I can only wish you luck.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

        • Is it true the higher the SEER, the smaller the compressor ? Why don’t the specifications on these new units list the HP or BTU of the compressor ?

          • Hi Doyle, The size or capacity of the compressor has more to do with how much cooling is needed and how it is matched to the rest of the system components. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is just about efficiency of the system. System manufacturers design systems to achieve a particular SEER rating and capacity and select the components (compressors, coils, valves, etc.) that will achieve that when the system is rated. The capacity of the system in BTU/Hr and the compressor capacity can usually be found on a tag that is attached to the outdoor unit. Sometimes the capacity is also shown in “tons” or ” horsepower”. If you can get the model number off the outdoor unit of your system you can usually look up the specs on the OEM’s site which would also show the size or at least the model of the compressor. From that you could go to the compressor manufacturer’s site to get the exact specs on the compressor if need those. Hope this helps.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Can anyone shed some insight onto my problem. We have a Kenmore 22000 btu air conditioner bought in 2003. For the past few years it constant!y freezes resulting in us having to turn on fan only and letting it defrost. I thought the problem might have been the air bouncing off a mattress and box spring that was sitting in my dining room where the A/C is (long story don’t ask). But yesterday when I was finally able to move the mattresses it was doing the same thing…a little worse actually. It was in the lower 90’s yesterday and about 88 inside but there the A/C was frozen. Does it sound like the A/C is on its way out? Any help would be very appreciated as 800.00 for a new one is going to be a stretch.

    • Ron,

      It sounds like your Freon is low, maybe a leak? If it’s R-22 and you know someone that has some you might have them check the pressure on the unit. When the Freon is low it will freeze the A coil in the furnace causing little to no air flow and that will make the problem worse. Very dirty air filters or maybe a very dust covered A coil can cause the same problem.

      Hope this helps…

      • Not to mention that R-22 has been ‘outlawed’ since 2010; thus finding a supplier is darn near impossible. AND should you find one, it’s expensive (my area $75-100 per #). Also, don’t let someone tell you, ‘that R-410A will do as a replacement’ , because it WON’T.

    • Two things can cause a normal operating packaged air conditioner coil to freeze and it is more common than most folks realize. The first is operating the unit with the thermostat adjusted at a too cold temperature setting. This usually occurs when trying to cool a large area with a unit that is undersized. An air conditioner that is properly sized for the space it is cooling, will cycle the compressor off periodically. If the fan continues to run, any ice formation will melt quickly when the compressor cycles off. The second issue is never cleaning the air filter or again operating the unit on the lowest fan setting and coldest temperature setting. Low air flow through the cooling coil doesn’t have the necessary heat the unit was designed to absorb, so the cooling coil gets too cold and ice starts to form. And if the compressor never shuts off, the coil eventually ices over. Low refrigerant charge does not cause icing, it reduces the unit’s ability to remove heat since there is less refrigerant to absorb heat. Also, R22 has not been outlawed. Production of R22 in the United States will end in 2020 and may continue to me made in other nations indefinitely, although it would be illegal to import into the US (like illegal drugs).

  26. The discussion of “climate change” and “ozone holes” is really moot, in relation to the changing of refrigerants. Back in the late ’80s, I supervised a major overhaul of a low temp, cascade system. Getting ready to do a re-start, I contacted DuPont Chemical an ordered 5000# of R-12. I was informed that it would be a month before the order could be shipped. Further discussion of the time element, I was told that presently about 100,000#
    was shipped regularly to the “cosmetic” industry; i.e.: hair spray, deodorants, etc. The chemical and equipment manufacturers along with the EPA became a driving force to eliminate the “standard” refrigerants. This change has resulted in more “new” equipment sales and less “repair”. This covers all the house-hold refrigerators, auto air conditioners, building air conditioners, etc etc. Okay, we are going to “modernize” America and maybe the world. BIG bucks were made by everyone in the supply chain. The ironic part of this, was that R-12 could be bought in Mexico for the ‘old’ price; and, shipped into the USA as a fire retardant. Now let’s look at this problem of “adding” or adjusting the refrigerant charge in the modern equipment. The new refrigerants are “azeotropic” mixtures. Making it simple means that there are at least two different chemicals. So when there is a leak, it is impossible to determine how much of which chemical is gone; i.e.: we mix apple juice and orange juice to make a drink; we spill some and want to refill the pitcher. How much apple juice was lost or was it mostly orange juice. The only way to add to the modern systems, is to totally reclaim the refrigerant and re-charge the system with the correct amount. BOTTOM LINE IS MONEY—LOTS OF MONEY for everyone, except for the equipment owner…..

    • It’s the cost of progress! But I’m sure some would rather be bled when they’re sick, because it costs them less money? Seriously?

      Some would walk on red hot coals, even sacrifice their lives for their children’s, children’s, children, etc. While some only care about themselves in the now! Mostly childless?

      Philosophy? Psychology?

      I believe in any science that aims to perpetuate mankind’s existence on planet earth, despite those that just don’t get it!

      From what I understand, considering all pertinent things one ‘should’ consider, a geothermal heat pump is the best solution ‘today’ in both keeping cool and warm, especially when combined with solar heating/photo-voltaic cells. Of course incorporating a trombe wall as well as other passive technologies is even better.

      So obviously my vote goes to the refrigerant that considers all things of the day, opposed to archaic technologies, which mind you, served their purpose well, along the chain of human knowledge.

  27. I find 2 critical errors in the information contained in this article.

    First, R22 is actually a more efficient refrigerant than R410A, it transfers heat more effectively than 410A. R22 has been “outlawed” by the EPA under the guise of environmental protection because it contains chlorine, a naturally occurring element.

    Second, systems are presently more efficient than in past because the equipment design allows them to use less electricity to do the same job. NOT BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENT REFRIGERANT.

    • Thanks for your post, Kylar. Just to add to the confusion – the R22 phase-out in the US happened in 2010. At this time, there were also significant changes in US efficiency regulation going on for residential AC systems that happened in 2006 and again in 2013. So, you are correct in saying there were significant changes in equipment designs during this period to achieve the new minimum efficiencies and in parallel, the new designs were also dealing with the R22 phase-out. To further confuse things, the standards for capacity and efficiency ratings (how much cooling you get at particular conditions – e.g. hottest days versus milder days) were also changing. All these changes have added to the confusion. The engineers tell us that R410A is more efficient but I think some of that is due to the higher operating pressures involved. So, I think it is sort of apples and oranges to compare them as you suggest and the simultaneous changes of equipment design and testing standards also makes it difficult to make blanket statements about this period. In any case, the days of new equipment with R22 are gone.

      It is interesting to note that the deal to ban R22 was part of the 1987 Montreal Protocol treaty to fix the hole in the ozone layer – which now seems to be shrinking, perhaps as a direct result of the chemical bans. However, the move to R410A apparently did nothing to affect the latest environmental concerns about global warming. So the next big changes affecting HVAC refrigerants will probably be related to regulations attempt to address global “climate change”. We will try to cover these changes as they evolve over the next few years so check out the site when you begin to hear about this in the news and we will try to provide a forum for more debate. Thanks for visiting the site and posting comments.

    • Since when did you find some naturally occurring chlorine gas just hanging around? It’s combined with sodium in the form of salt

  28. We just had to add $500 worth of R-22 to our ten year old central air conditioner. I asked the tech if the unit was leaking and he said ” it would take about $800 worth of R-22 to find out”. He said we should change the system over to R410A and he would send us a quote for a new unit. Does the whole system have to be changed to run R410A?

    • Hi Anna – yes, usually you have to change the whole system out to go from R22 to R410A. Sometimes you can get by with just changing the outdoor unit and changing the expansion device on the indoor coil. However, with a ten year old system that has a known leak (possibly on the indoor coil) you might still have a problem. You might be better off getting some additional quotes for both repairing the leak on your old system or buying a new one. Hope this helps.

        • if you can find someone who is good at finding and fixing leaks you might get a few more years out of that system. It often pays to shop around for contractors who can do that sort of troubleshooting. some are better than others at certain types of repairs.

          good luck!

  29. last year I got a call about “ac service ” and I bit …. the guy that came out didn’t know what he was doing and put a 410A charge into my R-22 unit ( not much but some ) … since that time my unit runs constantly to cool at all .. did he ruin it or can I have a tech I trust come out remove the mix and replace it?

    • Hi Dave – here are a few things to consider. First of all, if they added charge then you might have a leak. If they did not fix the leak then you could have a recurring low charge situation causing low or no cooling. It is also not good to use the wrong refrigerant because that could also lead to poor performance. The refrigerant properties are matched to all the system components so it needs to be right and charged to the right level. You should probably have a qualified HVAC contractor evaluate your system and diagnose/fix any problems. If you know how much R410A was added earlier that might be helpful. They might be able to fix it. Good luck!

    • Since the EPA does not require unique service fittings for R410a to be used, despite there being R410a fittings made, it is possible to charge R410a into anything. Anyone charging an R22 system must be EPA section 608 certified. Such certification helps insure technicians identify refrigerants and avoid mixing them. Contaminated refrigerants can be very expensive to dispose of and are considered hazardous waste. If consumers were more knowledgeable about the services, they were paying for, reporting illegal activity can net a reward of $10,000 or enough to pay for your new system, to include thousands in fines for the technician or business performing illegal work. If there is a person servicing your refrigeration equipment refrigerants, ask to see their EPA certification. If they don’t have any, send them away. They are not qualified to be taking the cap off a refrigerant service fitting.

  30. Gobstopper seems to have his/her mind made up about Freon and the ozone hole, but the connection between the ozone hole and Freon is really very simple. Ultraviolet rays (the rays that make us tan, and that can cause skin cancer, are the rays the ozone layer helps to stop) come into the Earth’s upper atmosphere from the sun and knock off chlorine atoms (Cl) from Freon. Oxygen like we breath (O2) and ozone (O3) are also in the upper atmosphere and are also broken up by ultraviolet rays. The single Cl and the single O atom combine to make ClO. That means the oxygen is not available to make more ozone (O3). So more chlorine in the Earth’s upper atmosphere means less ozone.

    Gobstopper is right about there being less ozone at the north pole and south pole during the cold season. That’s because air circulation around the poles is stronger during the cold season. More ozone is always produced other places in the upper atmosphere than the poles, because there is more sunlight to break up O2 in those places. After oxygen (O2) is broken up, the single Os will join another O2 to make O3, if there isn’t anything else for it to join. But this ozone (O3) can’t get to the poles until the atmosphere gets warmer and the circulation in the upper atmosphere gets weaker, letting the ozone (O3) through to the poles. So yes, there is less ozone at the poles during the cold season, but that doesn’t change the fact that more chlorine (Cl) in the upper atmosphere leads to less ozone (O3) being produced.

  31. Pingback: Buying the Best Refrigerant Recovery Machine – Top 5 Picks for 2017 - Outdoor Chief

  32. The whole BS about “hole in the ozone layer” caused by Freon is really goofy and not really science based. Ozone is created by sunlight shining on the atmosphere and converting oxygen (O2) to ozone (O3). When the north pole and south pole seasonally get no sunlight you’re going to get a hole in the ozone layer anyway. Naturally.
    Yet another law made up by fear-mongering. Oh yeah, and I prefer Freon to Puron anyway. Less leaks (I own several houses, some with Freon and some with Puron).

    • Agree with Gobstopper. Prefer Freon. In 2014, our furnace went. So we followed advice and had both furnace and (older R22) AC replaced. Nothing wrong with the AC unit. In fact, it was virtually maintenance free and had it for a very long time. A year into the newer R410a, the compressor went. Had it replaced. This year, little air flow. Turns out it was buildup of debris on the condenser coil/cooling fins which by the way, was only bad on 2 out of the 4 sides of the unit. Sprayed it out with a garden hose. Had a tech come by to ensure no damage to the unit. They checked it, flushed the system, etc. Now the thing turns on for so many seconds then turns off, and repeats. Had to turn system off completely. Now they’re coming back free of charge for another check. All I know is this, for 18 years we’ve had the older R22 running with no maintenance service nor do I recall having to treat it like a baby constantly cleaning it’s “bum” – the condenser coils/fins. In effect, we removed a functioning R22 system for a the newer supposedly “better” AC system that’s cause nothing but problems and money spent on service. If I could, I would love my old R22 unit back. Yes, my old unit back. At least I know it worked. Yes it would eventually break. But it’s better than worrying if the high maintenance pieces of junk called R410a will break down every time we turn the system on. Judging by all the feedback in this forum, sounds like R410a is a major disaster.

  33. Three years ago, my a/c unit was replaced with a system using R-410 A. Since it’s been installed it has had to be charged four times. The tech. that installed the unit insist nothing is wrong with the system even though the unit had to be charged twice the first year. Is this true?

    • AC systems are hermetically sealed systems and should not have to be “re-charged” unless they did not have the right charge to begin with or they have developed a leak. You might want to get some other opinions.

  34. Can’t beat the old refrigerants. I found newer R-410a units with more leaks at the evap coil elbows big time. And yes, the new refrigerants are blends, they also have ” Glides” at their boiling points which does make them less efficient in that area. If there is a leak with
    R410a, ( depending on how much was lost ) the chemistry is now changed and the entire charge should be recovered and replaced as a liquid charge ( after the leak is repaired). Being R-410a run at higher operating pressures, higher pressures means higher resistance. To over come the higher resistance, the compressor will draw higher amps which will cause the compressor to run a little warmer and raise your electric bill. The Heat of compression also reduces a units efficiency as it adds heat to the system that it is trying to remove, or transfer. ( Note, this is important for all systems, as a hot running compressor will in time break down the insulation on the windings ( which is usually just varnish ) and cause a burn out. As of the Ozone factor, don’t believe the politics. There is still no change and won’t be as long as volcano’s are shooting sulfur into the strat. As of myself, I’m still using R-22 and will be. I’m leak free since install of 2003. I’m considering designing a system using R-500 as it runs a really low head pressure which in turn would be a low electric bill. Use pleated air filters and keep your coils clean….that will aid in heat transfer…it is a science! Even tho the compression ratio’s are different, I’m still finding the FLA ( full load amps or running amps) a little higher with R-410a. Just something else to sell. Like always newer electronics and changing analog to digital. It actually hurt the economy. Robotics first, employee’s second. Hope you liked the read. Joseph L.

    • Poo Poo Joseph. My father used to tell me he had to walk 10 miles a day to go to school every day. My next door neighbor is 83 years old and he tells me that new cars that state have leather seats are not really leather anymore. Your one of these type of guys aren’t you Joseph?

  35. hello .. please let me know why must charging R410a as liquid ? and what happens if charging as gas ? what is phenomenon called ?
    MANY THANKS

    • Charging with liquid is recommended to ensure best performance. Because R410a is a blend of two different refrigerants, fractionation can occur if removed from the cylinder as a vapor.

  36. I have a Trane unit installed in a new build on Oct 2014. I now have a leak in my condenser and have to have it replaced. The tech told me this was a common problem. Just wanted to know if this is something you have seen also? Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Rodney, Refrigerant eaks can happen from time to time and for various reasons. Sometimes is it better to just replace the coil rather than trying to find and fix the leak so it is possible you might be on the right track here. You might want to get a couple different contractors to quote this repair to make sure you comfortable with the decision. You might also check your warranty on that system too as it might be covered. Good luck with your HVAC project and thanks for visiting our site!

      • Getting ready to have my 3rd a coil in 5 years. Hifh pressure systems and thin copper a coils don’t work. I am told by my company some are on their 6th and 7th. Thanks enviromenalists.

  37. I have a slow leak in my 2004 trane XL19. What are your thoughts about switching over to 407C once its fixed ? This is a cheaper option than relaplacing my unit which still works fine except for the small leak. I have a personal friend put 1 to 2 pounds 3 times in the last 8 months. Please advise. Thanx

    • Please check with the unit manufacturer or qualified contractor on refrigerant retrofit options for your specific unit.

    • R410-A systems and components are designed for different pressures and are not compatible with R-22. Also, R-22 has been banned from new equipment in the US and is or will soon be in short supply and thus, higher priced in the future. If you did manage to change enough parts and the oil etc., you could probably get an R410-A system to pump R22 but the capacity and efficiency could be way off for the cooling needs of your space. So, I’d suggest it might be physically possible to switch back to R22 but it would not be economically beneficial and you might not be as comfortable. There are some other articles in this site that deal with this topic so you might try searching for those if you want more info. Hope this helps.

  38. My HVAC system is running low of gas (R22). Instead of adding gas, I wish to discontinue the use of Freon 22 because of its ozone depletion property. What do I need to replace in the system to accommodate this new gas (410), Compressor?, Expansion Valve? others?

    • Hi Odedina – in order to move from R-22 to R-410A you would have to change the whole outdoor unit (including the compressor) and the expansion device on the indoor coil if the coil you have is R410A compatible. If your coil is not compatible you would have to change that too and might as well just upgrade to a whole new system. If you just replaced the R-22 with R-407C refrigerant you would probably only have to clean and flush the refrigerant lines and recharge with new synthetic oil called POE. Both R-407C and reclaimed R-22 are ok to use with your old equipment. You might just want to continue using it until it is time to replace the whole system. If you can have someone find and fix the leaks in your system that would probably be the most cost effective solution but upgrading might help reduce your energy costs. We recommend getting quotes from a few different contractors before deciding. I hope this help. Thanks for using our site.

    • There are a few drop in replacements for R-22 that I have used and work fairly well like MO99 and Nu22. To switch to 410 would require a completely new system.

    • The whole System. Just add the R22 why because the new HFCs are far far more greenhouse effect gases than R22. We switched from R12 on cars and refrigerators because of Ozone issues but screwed ourselves as these new HFX are 1200+ more damaging as greenhouses gases than C02 R22 to R410 is looking to be simalar. Since the Ozone layer and the big ozone hole in the southern hemisphere is now gone and Ozene is doing its job again I do not see you helping anyone by adding not only $ but higher greenhouse gasses. R134A will soon be phazed out as will R410 but 410 will be farther down the road. Why. Becuase folks normaly keep a car less than 10 years but a home with air more like 40 years. Switching casuses some leakage and everyone switching at the same time would be a big issue for both Ozone and greenhouse effects. Again. Just put some more R22 in the system till this is all figured out would in my opinion would be less damaging to the environment. Putting some more R22 will also make your system work better if it is low thus less energy thus less C02 in the air. Make sence. Dont let some salesman have some tech try and talk you into R410.
      Jim Bronson PhD

  39. If it’s burnt, your tech also needs to flush the system to remove contaminants, and install an acid filter to capture the traces that remain, otherwise you will be replacing components again very soon. And the system should be checked for acid and the filter replaced until no acid remains. It would also be advisable to determine why the compressor failed; a common issue on a unit of that age would be a plugged evaporator causing the compressor to work harder. R-22 prices right now are about $350 to $600 for a 30 lb. jug, so your tech is getting a very high markup. You may want to find another company.

  40. My 16 year old 4 ton Carrier heat pump quit. The serviceman advised that I needed a new compressor as the main breaker was tripped and resetting it, it tripped again. He ordered a new compressor. He advised the existing R22 refrigerant could not be reused because it smelled burnt. CAn that be? I’m under contract with American Home Shield and they now limit R22 to 10.00 a pound. The service company is Comfort First and they quote 1000.00 to recharge the 10.3lbs of R22. Advice ? Recover existing R22? Get another contractor to recharge the system? Buy R22 on line at about $30 a pound? Is charging for 11 lbs and using 10.3 lbs ethical in the trade?

    • Typically the reclaimed refrigerant is not reused unless it goes through a recycling process. It could be contaminated by the failed compressor, which could possibly have a nonconforming motor resulting in the ‘burnt’ smell. On average, AC systems in the US are about 14 years old when they are replaced. You may want to consider replacing the unit considering the amount it will cost to service existing unit. You will probably realize a benefit from higher efficiency since the government regulated minimum ratings have gone up since your old unit was installed, and it would be using a different type of refrigerant that will be more readily available in the future. You might look into some higher efficiency options like 16+SEER which also offer some comfort advantages. There are many articles on this site which discuss these options.

  41. R 22 was simple because it is one chemical . New refrigerant R 410 A complicated things way more , because it is a blend mixture of chemicals and every time things are complicated more problems are created .For one if you have small leak in R 22 SYSTEM you can simply add what leaked out and you are good to go , not so with 410 a leak means you should replace all refrigerant and that means vacuuming system and that means more time labor and money . REPLACING 6 POUNDS OF 410 CAN COST 3 times more THAN SIMPLY ADDING A POUND OF R 22 . R 410 is more unforgiving if proper procedures are not followed and in real world it is quite common – PEOPLE ARE IN A HURRY ,PEOPLE WORK UNDER STRESS OR ARE OVERWORKED or you have a boss idiot yelling “faster” all the time .So all those disaster stories about 410 are just a RESULT OF COMPLICATING THINGS , also having improper proportions or (% of ingredients ) in a 410 blend can be impossible to detect with gauges SO HERE IS AN EXPLANATION WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DISSATISFIED WITH 410 .ANOTHER POINT HERE —-WORKING WITH 100 – 200 PSI HIGHER PRESSURES CERTAINLY IS MORE DANGEROUS BUT DO POLITICIANS CARE ABOUT THAT ?

  42. dear sir i have abig proplem in our air condition unit which ambient temperature to high froms45 to 55 c so as soon as the 4 hermatic comprossores work it failed although the refrigerant is ok so we want to chang refregerent 407 to R22 please advice me

  43. hi! I read all your question and answers , very good information.I just replace my outside unit a goodman 3 tons I had it for around 11 years. I just got a 31/2 same brand 14 seer but it’s not cooling like the r22 before, maybe could be the coil inside.I call the tech and he says that it could be the inside coil but he told that he is going to lower the speed of the fan that according to him you could set at a lower speed is that logical.

    • Hi Larry – it is difficult to tell exactly what is going on with your system without being on site with you but based on what you said in your post I could see how this might work. If it does not work out the contractor would need to keep checking for things like proper charge and air-flow, etc. Make sure to explain to the contractor exactly when (time of day or night) and the temperature and humidity at those times and also where (which rooms, etc.) you are not getting adequate cooling. I hope you have good luck with your HVAC project. Thanks for visiting our site!

  44. This is a bogus article.
    410-A is a Hydrofluorocarbon adding to global warming tremendously, just like 134A and CO emissions. Plus it uses more energy per cooling unit, having higher operating pressures than an old more efficient R22 system.
    As long as the R22 system is sealed anyone should keep it operating.
    Best options to replace R22 is a mix of R290 And R600, thats propane butane (Hydocarbon Refrigerant).
    Fridges in Europe and Asia run on R600 already. The mix is being used in aircons all over the world and in cars.

    • Hi Pete – thanks for your comments on R-410A. Here are just a few points for clarification.

      Since most of our readers are from the U.S. we develop a lot of our content in support of those systems and related regulations. For example, R-290 and propane are not currently approved for use as refrigerants in unitary AC systems in the U.S. due to concerns about flammability. In U.S. there are charge limits on equipment with R290 that limits its usage to very small applications. Also, R22 has also been banned from use in new equipment in the U.S. although it is still available for service.

      R-410A is the most common refrigerant used in the U.S. today and has only slightly higher global warming potential (GWP) than R-22 and much lower ozone depletion potential (ODP). The higher pressure R-410A refrigerant also actually has superior thermal properties relative to R-22. However, refrigerants are not the only factor in determining system efficiency. Other components like compressors, heat exchangers, expansion devices and controls all contribute to the rated efficiency of the system.

      We will continue to update information on this site as the industry begins to develop low GWP refrigerants for use in the U.S. Thanks for using our site.

  45. I just today had to replace my 17 yr old outside unit with the new 410a system. Actual dimensions of the unit are twice as big as the old one. I had to have the inside coil replaced 5 years ago and it is 410a compatible. This is actually the first time I have heard of the new systems. I hope I am not going to regret replacing the old unit instead of repairing it. I guess I will find out with the high temps we are having in Texas now.

  46. This article is a bunch of baloney. The sheer fact that R410a operates at much MUCH higher pressures ( as much as 1.6 times the pressure – that’s 160 % MORE ) means that the compressor will be doing a GREATER amount of work and that translates into MORE ELECTRICITY – the bottom line… higher electric bills.
    An R22 unit will run up to as high as 375 to 400 psi which is an incredible pressure to be sure, but a 410a unit will run as high as 600 psi or more ! This astronomically higher pressure is what contributes to a GREATER instance of refrigerant leaks and system failure. Neither the greater use and cost of electricity Nor the higher instance of system failure are benefits to using Refrigerant R410a ! it is a constant headache and a systematic disaster. In summary – a real snow job has been done to us all – consumers and maintenance people alike. Stay with R22 as long as you possibly can.
    Tell them you heard it From Jim in Buffalo who has 30 + years of experience working on Heating and Air Conditioning Units.

    • Hi Jim in Buffalo,

      The compressor in a system provides a differential pressure in order to cause movement of refrigerant within a system. This movement of the refrigerant allows for heat to be transferred from one desired location (coil) to another. This differential pressure is the true “work” on a compressor, and is described as the compression ratio. Compression ratio is defined as absolute discharge over absolute suction pressure, basically the ratio difference between compressor inlet and outlet pressures at atmospheric pressure (14.7).

      Air conditioning application conditions are currently defined by ARI as 45°/ 130°
      Using a pressure-temperature chart for R-22 this is: 76psig / 297psig
      Using a pressure-temperature chart for R-410A this is: 132psig / 474psig

      Therefore the compression ratio formula for each refrigerant is as follows:

      For R-22: (297+14.7) / (76+14.7) = 3.437

      For R-410A: (474+14.7) / (147+14.7) = 3.331

      An R-410A system actually has a lower compression ratio, when compared to R-22 at the same ARI conditions. So even though the pressures are higher with R-410A, the pressure ratio from suction to discharge is lower than with R-22.

      Hope this helps to clear things up,
      Thanks
      Scott

    • I AGREE R 22 was simple because it is one chemical . New refrigerant R 410 A complicated things way more , because it is a blend mixture of chemicals and every time things are complicated more problems are created .For one if you have small leak in R 22 SYSTEM you can simply add what leaked out and you are good to go , not so with 410 a leak means you should replace all refrigerant and that means vacuuming system and that means more time labor and money . REPLACING 6 POUNDS OF 410 CAN COST 3 times more THAN SIMPLY ADDING A POUND OF R 22 . R 410 is more unforgiving if proper procedures are not followed and in real world it is quite common – PEOPLE ARE IN A HURRY ,PEOPLE WORK UNDER STRESS OR ARE OVERWORKED or you have a boss idiot yelling “faster” all the time .So all those disaster stories about 410 are just a RESULT OF COMPLICATING THINGS , also having improper proportions or (% of ingredients ) in a 410 blend can be impossible to detect with gauges SO HERE IS AN EXPLANATION WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DISSATISFIED WITH 410 .ANOTHER POINT HERE —-WORKING WITH 100 – 200 PSI HIGHER PRESSURES CERTAINLY IS MORE DANGEROUS BUT DO POLITICIANS CARE ABOUT THAT ?

  47. R410 is less efficient and more damaging to the ozone than R22. That is fact! The ever looking out for the little guy Democrats did it for the money and served you a heaping helping of syrupy feel good BS. And it works every time.

    • “R410 is less efficient and more damaging to the ozone than R22.”

      I’m inclined to agree about lower efficiency, but R410a has absolutely no effect on ozone since it’s an HFC. On a side note, it’s also debatable whether R22 ever did any ozone damage. Check out this URL: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/11/at-agu-nasa-says-cfc-reduction-is-not-shrinking-the-ozone-hole-yet/

  48. Well my Air conditoning unit went out last week it cools at first then 2nd time around it warm air only. I had a tech come out and check to see waht was wrong. Needless to say after he inspected the unit for a out 30 min trying to figure out what was wrong. He noticed that the main unit upstairs was an R22 the problem that was brought up is that the compressor is a 410 A this is a newer home we bought all he could say was if our AC was working properly. Well we were like it cooled it was working until now. So now we have to get a hold of the builder and installer get it fixed and hopefully this problem is solved.

  49. Hi Luis – a properly installed system should not leak refrigerant and you should not have to add refrigerant as part of regular maintenance. So it might last a while before needing a repair that requires refrigerant. If you do need R-22 it might get to be expensive over time but should still be available for repair use. Some OEM’s do not allow the use of “drop in” R-22 replacements and if they do they sometimes have special instructions regarding the oil so to you might need to check with them about that question. For example, R407C is a popular R22 replacement but you need to change to oil to POE instead of mineral oil with R22.

    Retrofitting an R-22 system to run on R-410A is an expensive and complicated job. In addition to the expense, the outdoor coil will not be optimized for R-410A which is also runs at higher pressures than R-22. Systems typically run 16 years (more or less depending on geography and run time) so maybe yours can last that long without needing more R-22. I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

  50. After 18 years as a homeowner, I finally had my entire 3-ton Hiel system (furnace, E coil, & compressor) replaced a few years ago with American Standard equipment – it runs on R22. Will I run into R22 “recharge” maintenance issues in the future and/or will MO99 fill that gap? I’m looking at my options as it applies to my scenario. Also, I’m probably a few years away from selling my house and am thinking about potential show stoppers. Since I have newer equipment, not converting from R22 to R410A shouldn’t be a problem when it’s time to sell? To change it over to 410A, I’m probably looking at around $3500 (new line set, evaporator coil, and compressor)… not cost effective at this time.

    • You have to use the refrigerant, for which the compressor and all the other components were designed to be used. Using the wrong refrigerant will probably cause initial performance issues and could make it inoperable over time. R22 and R410A also use different oils so that could make it even worse for you in this scenario.

  51. I had a system installed 4 yrs ago. It’s an R410a Rheem unit. It stopped cooling at all this past weekend, would run for hours and not drop one degree. I just had a tech come by and barely top it off with R410a. He said even if it’s slightly low the system stops working (or just stops cooling). Any reason why? My old system (R22) would just take longer to chill. We were unable to find any leaks but suggested, since it’s still under warranty to have the evaporator coils replaced. Says they aren’t made like they use to be.

  52. Question related to my Previous post
    The Sticker of the outdoor unit says
    Suction pressure max 4.20 MPa- can the .655 mm thickness copper pipe can sustain this pressure?
    Another pressure max is 1.99 Mpa
    Plz help

  53. I got a 24000 BTU Split where the manual says I need to use 1mm thickness 5/8 copper pipe but in my area I could get only 0.655 mm copper pipe. As the R410 pressure is 1.6 time higher, can I use the 0.655 mm copper pipe for the unit. The 1/4 pipe I got with a thickness 0.50 mm. Plz suggest.
    Plz help me

  54. I had R22 put in my 17 yr old Trane today. He told me R410A was causing a lot of issues in the new units and would be phased out soon. He advised me to buy a new unit the took R22. why would I buy a phased out product?

    • Hi Craig,

      R-22 has not been allowed in new AC systems since January, 2010 as part of the Montreal Protocol which was dealing with the depletion of the ozone layer. There may still be some partial systems (outdoor units) that can be used with R-22 and these are called “dry” units because they come without a refrigerant charge – and use recycled R-22 or other stocked refrigerant. R-22 dry units can still be used for repair situations but a recent regulatory guideline from DOE stopped the production of most R22 dry charge units in February, 2016, so these will be hard to get as inventory in the channel is depleted.

      One of the main reasons to use these R-22 dry units would be to avoid the cost of replacing your indoor air handler if it is still in good shape and will not need to be replaced in the near future. Our research shows that on average, people in the U.S. replace their systems when they are about 14 years old – sooner in the south and for heat pumps and a little later in the north where the cooling season is shorter. You might compare the age/run time of your system to those statistics as part of your decision process.

      On the other hand, a new, R-410A system would provide a complete upgrade to your HVAC system and would probably provide higher efficiency and possibly some comfort benefits along with a full OEM system warranty. R-410A systems have been the industry standard for US residential HVAC since 2010 and they have had a good quality record, which in many cases has been superior to what was experienced with the older R-22 systems. In general it is always a good idea to have a few quotes from various contractors before making any repair or replacement decisions

      As for the future of refrigerants, there are discussions and testing going on now with the government and industry to develop refrigerants and equipment for HVAC applications which might improve the potential impact on global climate change. However, at this time, there has been no specific timeline established for replacing R-410A in U.S. residential applications. We will be updating the articles on this site as more information comes out on this topic so check back from time to time to see what has changed.

      I hope this answers some of your questions.

  55. What is the difference in charge of refrigerant with the same capacity air conditioners for R-410 and R-22 for new system. I mean what charge is required for R-22 and what charge is required for R-410a for new systems. For example for a new system of R-22 it is probably 1.2 kg for 1.5 ton air conditioner. I understand that the charge of R-410a is more for the same new 1.5 ton air conditioner. How much more? What will be the cost difference for the same capacity of air conditioners? in my case I am interested for 1.5 ton air split air conditioner.
    Another question is why only R-410a is used in inverter technology and why not R-22?
    Having a negative impact on climate with R-410a, what will be the fate of the air conditioners bought today. I hope there will be new refrigerants coming in. If it is so shall I think of buying something which is more recent i.e. the air conditioner with a new refrigerant that is both ozone friendly and environment friendly?

    • Hi Mosuf – When comparing R-22/R-410A, if the systems are the same size and same SEER, the R-410A will typically have a smaller charge amount due to the R-410A being able to “carry” more heat per lbs of mass flow. Also, when some OEM’s developed their R-410A systems they made other changes in those designs which reduced the charge so in general, the newer R-410A systems use less refrigerant to meet the same capacities as similar, older R-22 systems.

      As far as the actual system charge amounts required, these will vary based on the liquid and suction line lengths, along with of size and efficiency of the system and refrigerant used. A contractor can use gages to insure that any re-charging is done to the proper level. Getting the charge wrong (high or low) can lead to problems with your system.

      On the question of inverter technology, there are some R22 inverter systems available in those regions that still allow R22 to be used. In the US, new systems can’t be sold with R22 so that might be why you have only seen R-410A in newer systems designed with inverter drives.

      The industry is currently considering what the next new refrigerants will be but this has not yet been determined in the U.S. For most residential applications, R-410A systems are the only ones available.

      We are hoping that there is going to be an orderly phase down of R-410A after the new refrigerants are determined and released – like there was with R-22. This would allow for service, repairs and re-charge situations for some period of time. For example, R22 was phased out in new equipment in 2010 but it is still available for service and recharge today.

      I hope this helps to answer some of your questions.

  56. I AM A HVAC CONTRACTOR, HAVE BEEN FOR 48 YEARS. WE HAVE
    RECCOMENDED REPLACEMENT SYSTEMS TO BE COMPLETED IN
    FULL, CONDENSER, EVAPORATOR COIL AND LINE SET ON EVERY JOB. ALSO PERFORMING AN INSPECTION OF THE DUCT SYSTEM, SIZING ETC.

  57. I have a split system installed(and not very well) with pipes behind the plasterboard when built, the R22 system has blown up and needs replacing but so far 5 technicians have not been able to come up with a suggestion on installation as it seems it is not easy to install new pipes for the gas. 2 have suggested they clean out existing pipes and fit something or other so I can install a new 410a. Is this possible or would I eventually wreck the new split system. ANY suggestions on how to tackle this would be appreciated. It is my only form of heating and cooling.

    • Hi Lucille,

      Cleaning, flushing and reusing the existing pipes would be an easier and faster option, but this might also lead to a slightly higher risk of leaks in the future. So installing new piping for an R-410A system would be a better alternative in the long run. However, people have been re-using existing line sets with good success over the past few years as long as they follow the required process but it is important to make sure you hire a contractor who understands how to do this and knows what to look for.

      Also, the outdoor coil and compressor are designed for a specific refrigerant and should be matched with an indoor coil and metering device that are designed for that same refrigerant. The metering device (e.g. expansion valve) would need to be replaced to work with R-410A if your old outdoor unit was designed for R-22. For the coils, we would suggest that you contact the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) who built your current system and ask them (or your contractor) if your coil is suitable for R-410A and advise you on this matter. We would also suggest to get at least 2-3 separate contractors to quote your job before deciding what to do. Most contractors can quote you on both approaches – partial or full replacement of the system and the line sets (or piping).

      Kind regards,
      Scott

  58. R-22 is the one MOST efficiency for AC unit, compared with others.
    If R-410A or else were more efficiency than R-22, why still have so many people and Factory in many countries prefer to using R-22 in their new AC system. Even though R-22 will Deterioration of the Ozone layer. Why ?
    These all actually are merchants politicized to make $$$.
    All people know, plumping the Higher pressure will using extra energy or electricity. Means extra $$$, to get the extra efficiency. Save Cost ???

  59. & now with the “environmentally friendly” R-410A you can’t just add more if your AC is low, you will have to empty it and then do a full refill!!! What a waste of $$$ for the consumer!! Hey, but who cares about the consumer, right? As long as the companies are raking in the dough thanks to the environmental nuts it’s all good!……….NOT!!!….what a bunch of CROOKS!!

  60. “…with R-410A for reliable and more efficient operation…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…” Really? That’s BS! It has nothing to do with efficiency and all to do with the environmental nuts pushing their agenda on consumers to have companies RIP THEM OFF!! give me a break! I’ve NEVER had an AC compressor go out on ANY of my ACs!!!! NEVER! no cracking!! Absolutely NOTHING like that. I’ve had the switch, breakers, fan, other things go out but not the compressor.

  61. Just got a new GOODMAN 5 ton 16 SEER System replacing my 15 year old Rheem in South Florida . System components are : GSX160601FD Outdoor and ASPT61D14AA Indoor unit.
    The yellow label outside states a 14 to 16 SEER depending on the matching indoor unit; the indoor unit doesn’t has a yellow label, I’ve unable to find the SEER for that unit even call to the manufacturer and they claim I have to ask my contractor. How efficient and
    What SEER is my system?

    • We looked up the outdoor and indoor unit model numbers in the AHRI Industry directory and it looks like that match would yield 16 SEER efficiency. You should probably ask your contractor to confirm this if possible in case we missed something or if the OEM specs had changed, etc. The contractor should know for sure what the installed efficiency would be in your application. I hope this answers your question.

  62. Our apt. has a leaking coils area 1969 very old central air unit. The coils are in the apt. ceiling and the condenser? is up rooftop. The landlords are cheapskates not fixing properly. They claim they removed freon from roofside but man who went up had zero tools or tanks in hand. Is there any explanation for our halogen tester still detecting freon, and floor-level matching signs such as burning eyes/nose/throat/palpitations, to explain this if they truly “evacuated” freon from the roof portion? This is a bad leak showing solvent corrosion of paint in the hallway directly below the unit, accompanied by a rusty colored oil coming down. Thanks for any help. Its the older r22 freon. The sys required 5 refills of freon that didnt help any, no air blows from the vents so 80 one side of apt, 70 directly inside the vents not cooling place properly.
    Also…it would not be safe to use same unit unrepaired for heat as the air goes thru same channels, correct?

    • Hi Tina – Any refrigerant leak should be repaired and proper charge level established to have the system run properly. Also, the liquid leaks below the unit could be condensate (condensed moisture that collects in a pan under the unit) which might be leaking from an overflow point. This should also be diagnosed and corrected. I can’t comment on health related issues due to leaks but changing the air filter at the beginning of each heating and cooling season might help with any dirt or debris that might be coming through the duct work. Also, our survey data shows that on average, people in the US replace their HVAC systems when they are about 16 years old – more or less, depending on where it is located i.e. units in the south get replaced at about 14 years old due to the longer cooling season which drives run time. I hope this helps to answer some of your questions.

  63. Hi, i was told by the air conditioner seller that old model of air conditioner run with R22 can be switch to R410 by changing the piping only without changing the outdoor unit, is that true?

    • Hi Frankie – Outdoor units (and compressors) are designed for a specific refrigerant. The unit will not operate properly and may not operate at all if used with a refrigerant it was not designed for. R-410A is not a suitable replacement refrigerant for R-22. I would suggest you get 2-3 other contractors to advise you on this matter.

      Hope this helps.

  64. R-22 is sufficient for comfort cooling, as like DX, Air Cold and Child Water Cooling.
    R-410 is sufficient for precision cooling like Up flow, Down Flow & in-row.

    The refrigerant gas type recommend by principle. any have more info please share with us and gain the knowledge.

  65. I need an outside unit/ condensor using r22 replaced. The cost in refrigerant alone with save me $800.00, if I were to switch to the new refrigerant. . It is covered by warranty for the unit outside but not the refrigerant, Does the inside unit/evaporator need to be replaced if I were to ask for the new outside unit to use the new refrigerant? If so, do you feel it would be an advantage to pay for the new inside unit if I have to?

    • Hi Jeff – The outdoor units need to use the same refrigerant as the indoor unit. If you go to R410A on your new outdoor unit you might be able to replace the expansion device on the R22 indoor unit so you can use the new R410A refrigerant but only if it was designed for this modification as the pressures are different. Your contractor or the OEM who built your system should be able to help with this.

      However, our research shows that, on average, HVAC systems in the US last about 16 years before they are replaced but the replacement age might vary due to geography (e.g. more run time in the south) and whether it is a heat pump (runs both winter and summer). So, if your system is near or over 16 years old and/or has had a lot of run time you might want to consider replacing both the indoor and the outdoor units to avoid having to spend more money for future repairs on the old indoor unit. Also, a failure of your old indoor unit might actually end up damaging the new outdoor unit you just replaced.

      Another reason for replacing both is to get the full energy savings from the new outdoor unit – which probably has a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio) of 13 or 14 SEER. If your indoor unit is/was a lower efficiency you will probably not realize the rated efficiency of the new outdoor. If you match the efficiency and the refrigerant on the indoor and outdoor units you will get a matched set with the right efficiency and you will probably get a full, new warranty on both if something happens in the future.

  66. I have a R22 copeland scroll type compressor. The unit that needs a compressor replacement needs a R410 compressor as it was running on R410 system. The R410 compressors are not available locally but R22 compressor is available. After changing the oil in the R22 compressor to suit for the R410 gas, will the compressor work, if at all it will not work, please give reasons why it will fail to work.

    • Hi Athailus

      It is virtually impossible to retrofit a system designed for R-410A to be suitable for use with R-22. The compressor and other major components operate on a totally different pressure/temperature correlation and you would have to change all of them. As you stated, not only does it require you to change the oil in the compressor, but all of the compressor internal protection devices would not allow the compressor to function properly. Another reason would be based on the efficiency of the heat transfer of R-410A being about 40% better than R-22, the displacement is lower on an R-410A compressor. Basically all the pressures required for R410A are totally different than those required for R22. If the wrong refrigerant is introduced, the pressures that the compressor delivers to the rest of the system will not provide the right conditions for proper cooling.

      I would suggest checking with a qualified contractor to advise you on your options.
      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  67. having trouble with my system cooling. keep freezing up and leaking R22. this is the 5th time within 6 months with 3 different companies charging me for freon. I was told yesterday that i have a goodman 2.5 ton 13 steer R22 compressor and a 3 ton system. i was told that i needed to change to a american standard 3 ton 14 steer 410A to get the maximum amount of air in home to match my 3 ton system and the best price for coolant in the future. is this necessary? i was also told that the system is not sealed to RA, system air not filtering, no txv unit, no overflow on system and LL dryer leaking. Suggestion- purchase American Standard 3 ton 14 seer 410A, txv, and 20X25X4 honey well filter.

    • Hi Tammy,

      A Leaking coil causes pressure drop within the system. Since the indoor coil temperature is directly affected by pressure, this causes the normal condensate to freeze. Air conditioning systems (unlike Heat pumps) do not have a defrost cycle to clear this ice. Blocking the airflow with ice, can cause future problems with the system. Since several service calls have been made, it sounds like you are experiencing one or more refrigerant leaks in this system. In this case, the proposed replacement might be the best solution. We usually recommend that homeowners to get at least 3 quotes from qualified service companies before making their final purchase decision.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  68. I have a 4 year old 5 ton Fedder system that died. Technician says it is the compressor which is under warranty. I am being told the 3/4″ lines that are inside my walls are too small for the R410a refrigerant and that I need to upgrade my pipes to 7/8″ pipes that they want to run up the outside of my house to my attic where my air handler is located. The vertical hight is approximately 30′ and about another 10′ of horizontal to the handler in the attic.
    Does this make sense? The increase from 3/4″ to 7/8″ will make that big a difference?

    Any help appreciated!!!!!

    • Hi Andrew,

      Generally it is a good practice to ensure that all components are compatible for the refrigerant being selected. This refers to not only the indoor coil, outdoor coil, compressor, and metering device, but to the line set as well. The system line sizing is typically based on the unit type, location and capacity being selected. As always, I would be sure to get multiple quotes on any “new” installation before deciding on a particular A/C investment.

      Hope this help,
      Scott

  69. This article is senseless nonsense falsely promoting 410A.

    1) 401A being able to absorb more heat is only a benefit to the HVAC industry, increasing their profit margins. They are not passing any savings on to the consumer except if you count the increasing rarity of R-22 due to the phase-out.

    If anyone actually cared about efficiency they would use high efficiency compressors, larger coils, high efficiency fan motors and blades. They do not, it’s just whatever is cheapest that’ll last a warranty period.

    2) That R-410A operates at a higher pressure is not in any way some good thing, not some assurance that compressors are built better. On the contrary it just means the system has more stress and built to the same price point (remember, it’s all about profits) it will fail sooner. To try to spin the opposite is foolish and naive.

    3) Trying to claim the difference in mineral oil and synthetic is arbitrary and just plain wrong. Synthetic oil can be used with equal, actually better results due to the lower pressure mentioned above, in R-22 systems. This point in the article is probably deliberately ignoring facts if not deliberately misleading. You’re merely assuming that if an old system used mineral oil that a new R-22 would too, while most industries have moved to synthetic any time wear is a concern.

    4) The Dry Charging paragraph. It just repeats the myths propigated previously. Yes the price of R-22 will go up so why do people still pick it? Because they aren’t duped by nonsense like this article contains, know that if it weren’t for R-22 depleting the ozone layer and so being restricted in use, THAT WE WOULD STILL USE IT AS THE SUPERIOR SOLUTION.
    If it was actually inferior in use then the industry would switch to R-410A with no mandates needed, just to stay competitive.

    In closing, R-410 offers no real advantage from a technical standpoint. Energy costs completely swamp the production costs of refrigerant so it is irrelevant that it’s more efficient per volume because a larger volume of R-22 would be a trivial cost difference, and is actually cheaper over the long run because its lower pressure system takes longer to leak so it needs replaced, and refrigerant bought, less often.

    • Gerome,

      There are several Mobile apps available for Pressure/Temperature conversion for different refrigerants.
      Looking at a Pressure Temperature chart for R-22 for 60 psig = 34F degrees, 34F degrees for R-410A = 105 psig

      Scott

      http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/Resources/Mobile_Apps/Pages/emerson_ptpro.aspx

  70. Hi, i like to seek your opinion on whether R22 can use a R410 compressor exchange valve. I have an old A/C with R22. Recently, i hired an A/C company to redo the coiling and duct work in the attic. Without knowing, they put in coil and compression exchange valve that works with R410A even though i still use R22 compressor and condenser.

    This month, the AC compressor crapped out and was replaced. However, the AC company that was provided by the warranty company noticed we are using a R410A valve and claims that would cause the compressor to break. Is that possible? The a/c company i hired said the reason they replaced the old coiling with R410A was due to R22 being phased out and that R410A valve can work with R22. Who’s right? Thank you!

    • Some coils are compatible with both R-22 and R-410A but in most cases the thermal expansion valve is changed to match the refrigerant being used in the outdoor unit to insure proper performance of the system.

  71. Hi,
    I have an 2007 Amana 16 SEER that was serviced in 2010. The tech added 3lbs of R22 instead of using R410-A. What are the consequences of this action and what can I look for to be replaced now that the AC needs service (6-2015) and the tech that put the R22 is coming back to fix this issue?
    thanks,
    James in California.

    • James.

      Air Conditioning systems are designed, tested and approved for a certain combination of components (e.g. refrigerant and oil) so the system and compressor along with controlling devices inside the system may not function properly if the wrong refrigerant is used. I would recommend getting any leaks fixed, removing the old refrigerant and recharging with the proper refrigerant at the right charge level and then ask the Service technician to check the compressor amp draw and run some diagnostics to make sure it is running ok.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  72. Hi,

    I am from India and willing bought a Godrej model with REFRIGERANT r290 . Is it good to have this in the house…

    Thanks

  73. My house/AC system is 8 years old, and outside TRANE compressor (R22) is damaged and have to be replaced, the model number is 2TRR3060A1000AA. One contractor suggest me to replace new R410 outside unit and keep the inside unit/coil to save money, he will also flush line. My question is how do I know the inside coil can handle both R22 and R410, the inside model number is 2TXFH063AS3HHA. In the label, it shows the refrigerant is R22, but the design pressure is 480 psi. also how do I know the existing copper piping can handle high pressure for R410? What is the approximate cost to change piping?

    Thanks!

    John

    • Hi John,
      First of all, the metering device on your R-22 coil will probably need to be changed to one that works for R-410A refrigerant as your current TXV is not sized for that refrigerant. You will also need to check with the manufacturer or contractor to see if your current R-22 coil will be usable with R-410A and if so, you might be able to use it and just change the expansion valve. If you are unsure about this just call them. In any case, the copper line set will need to be inspected by your contractor and you both can decide if it should be changed. If it is older and has a lot of bends and solder joints these can often fatigue and create leaks over time. If you keep the line set it will need to be cleaned and flushed to remove any debris and any remaining mineral oil from the R-22 system. The cost of replacing line sets varies from job to job and is dependent on the length of the lines (copper material cost) and the labor to install it. If you have a short, easy to reach line set it might be worth changing it out. For some people, if the line sets are long and the access is complicated with not too many old solder joints, some people just use the old lines.

  74. Operating HVAC, no labels on it. How can I find out what coolant is charged in the unit – R-22 or R-410A? Thanks.

    • Hi Delcho,

      You are correct, it is very helpful to know which refrigerant the current system is using, before performing any service work.
      > Since your unit does not appear to have any labels, one way to tell (without installing gauges) is to look at the compressor nomenclature.
      > In the case of a “Copeland” brand compressor and looking at the actual compressor label, if the first two digits of the model are “ZR” or “CR” then your system is most likely R-22 refrigerant. If the compressor model starts with “ZP” then the unit is most likely R-410A refrigerant.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  75. Dear Gentlemen,

    I am Engineer from Brazil and currently working to support the management of maintenance contracts of a large bank with several branches.

    We have been experiencing some problems with contractors that, in order to save some money, replace burnt compressors that are designed for use with R410A by others of the same ARI rating but designed for use with R22.

    They say it suffices to change the mineral oil that comes with the part by a siynthetic POE one that the same performance will be delivered.

    Would this procedure be acceptable? Would there be any side effects?

    Thank you in anticipation for your help and happy easter.

    Best Regards,

    Georgios

    • Georgios – Compressors are designed specifically for certain refrigerants due to the pressures involved. Simply changing the oil is not sufficient to reliably switch compressors from one refrigerant to another. You have to use compressors designed to run at rated pressures and capacities for the refrigerant specified in the system or you will have immediate problems with efficiency and eventually you could have reliability problems which could cause premature failure of the replacement compressor.

  76. Is it advisable to top up a leaking HVAC system (R410A) without first evacuating the entire system? I learnt that R410A composition can change when it leaks making top up not advisable for effective cooling. Is this true? Thanks

    • Unless the system has lost over half of the total system charge, “topping off” a leaking R-410A system after the leak has been repaired should not be an issue but it should always be charged as a liquid to reduce the chance of fractionization. R-410a usually has an insignificant amount of fractionization, and almost no glide (as compared to R-407C) but charging as a liquid is still the best approach.

    • Bill – Sometimes there is a label on the outdoor unit that indicates the refrigerant charge. When R-410A was first introduced these labels were only on the new R-410A units and were pink in color (the color of the R-410A gas containers). If you can’t find the label on the outdoor unit, the documentation you received with your system should indicate which refrigerant it uses. If you don’t have that paperwork handy, just do an internet search on the brand and model number for your system and you can probably find the original specs on line. At ten years old there is good chance it is an R-22 system but there were some R-410A systems sold at that time as well. Your HVAC contractor should have some other ways to look up the refrigerant in your system if you still have trouble determining it.

  77. I am replacing a 1987 Carrier 3 1/2 ton R22 split unit with a Goodman 4 ton R410a split unit. My Carrier has a 3/8″ and 3/4″ copper line set. My Contractor says the existing line set will work fine with the new unit (with flushing). However, I noticed in Goodman’s website that they specify a 3/8 liquid line like I have now for the 4 ton, but the suction line is spec’d at 1 1/8″ which is quite a lot larger than the existing 3/4″ line proposed for re-use. Do you think the 3/4″ line will be ok? Do 410a systems typically use a larger suction line and do they really need it?

    • Hi Allen. That line set appears to be almost 30 years old and while the copper tubes do not typically “wear” out, they are subject to fatigue and might eventually begin to leak. You might also show the OEM recommendation to your contractor since they usually specify those line sizes to match the system performance required. Deviating from OEM specifications might affect the performance or long term reliability of your new system. However, in some cases where it is difficult to run new lines, we have seen people successfully use the old lines after proper flushing. You should probably discuss these trade-offs with your contractor and then decide. It is important that you and your contractor are on the same page with whatever you decide to do.

  78. Is there anyway one can know what kind of refrigerant an air-conditioning unit will use by merely looking at the model and specifications online?

    • Alex,

      Since the US refrigerant regulation changed in 2010, almost all US residential AC and heat pump systems have been designed with the new R-410A refrigerant. If you read through the on line, internet based OEM literature and specifications it will probably state this somewhere but you might have to look closely because we pretty much assume that all new systems are now R-410A unless stated differently. One exception to this is the systems called “R-22 Dry Charge” systems and this “R22 Dry Charge” feature is usually called out in the literature and promotional material. These systems are old, 13 SEER systems that were designed for the old, R-22 refrigerant but they are shipped from the OEM without any refrigerant – i.e. they are “dry” charged, or have “no” charge. These systems can be compliant with regulations if they are used as partial system replacements (outdoor unit only) and are used with refrigerant that is either reclaimed or came from old stocks.

      Unfortunately, OEM model number configurations are usually unique to each OEM and there is no easy way to the determine which refrigerant is used based just on model numbers. Some people who are familiar with certain OEM product lines and their model number nomenclature can determine certain attributes from these OEM model numbers but it gets complicated when you move from one OEM to anohter because they are all not configured in the same way.

      I hope this answers your questions.

  79. Two big picture questions without concern for product names. If my thermostat constantly indicates 1.5F lower than actual space temperature, what effect would this have on heat pump operation. It can be said that identical tonnage systems for R22 and R410A should produce identical performance results. Is it possible for one R22 3 ton to produce at 3.4 tons and one R410A 3 ton to produce at 2.6 tons, such that on change out a drop of one-half ton performance occurs? Or are the design controls so strict that neither would deviate by more than 0.1 tons in either direction, such that the effect is negligible?

    • When comparing system cooling capacity it is good to consider the actual capacity (in BTUH) rather than the nominal capacity (in tons). This information can usually be found on the nameplate on the unit or on the specs for the unit which might be available on the OEM’s site. The nominal “tons” of capacity which are assigned to various actual BTUH capacities can be subject to rounding assumptions and these might differ from OEM to OEM and from unit to unit. However, the rated capacity in BTUH should be accurate to the ARI rating point where the unit was designed, tested and approved.

  80. Help! We’ve just determined that our outside condenser unit is a 2 1/2 ton Goodman R22 unit.
    The inside condenser unit is a Goodman 3 1/2 ton 410A unit. I have no idea what type of refrigerant has been used, but, the contractor who came out to inspect because of leaking, said the two units aren’t compatible tonage-wise or refrigerant wise and that whoever installed them put in the wrong items.. plus the breaker for the heat pump is too high at 60 AMPS… I’d appreciate your opinion. And PS no permit was pulled for any of the installs..

    • Hi Laurie,

      I am going to assume the leak is on the outdoor unit. One replacement option would be for you to replace the R-22 Outdoor unit with a appropriate sized R-410A Heat Pump unit (3.5 ton?). This would then allow for both your indoor and outdoor units to be match for R-410A refrigerant (they need to be matched in order to work properly). Going from 2.5 tons to 3.5 tons is a pretty big increase so you might want to have your contractor check to make sure your system is sized properly for your home. Also, a 3.5 ton unit would have a slightly higher RLA requirement over the existing 2.5 R-22, but not knowing the proper sizing needed, I would suspect that 60amp is too large. We discuss some of the issues with converting from R-22 to R-410A in the attached article http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/r22-outdoor-unit-replacement-decision/

      As always, I would suggest contacting a qualified contractor and getting two or three quotes before committing to a work order.
      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  81. FYI The hole in the ozone layer? or is it the Oh Zone layer? According to
    Boyle’s law, PV=k where P is the pressure of the gas, V is the volume of the gas, and k is a constant.
    If the were a hole in the Ozone layer, why is it only over North America?
    Politics maybe??
    Gas in the layer would move toward the hole to fill it & stabilize the pressure P.
    Like taking a bucket out of the room! Is there a hole in the room where the bucket was?? LOLLLLL
    Gases at altitude move at high velocities. Trust me it wont take long to fill the
    hole.
    Read up on Bernoulli’s equations or a little bit of thermodynamics and you will
    soon see that a hole in the ozone cannot exsist. also
    the so-called Antarctic ozone hole, occur annually.
    remember Al Gore and the 3ft sea level rise by the yr 2000? DUH
    sea level has been rising at a steady 1/4″ pr yr for 10,000 yrs. As a matter of
    fact it has been slowing and leveling off the last century. check with NOAA
    And the artic circle as been growing snow and ice for the last 7 yrs, I
    guess it’s thanks to global warming.

  82. It is hard to tell what happened from your description and it is not clear what the status was of the unit that was replaced. A difficult situation. You might also try contacting the manufacturer of the unit you installed or talk to some other contractors who have dealt with similar situations.

  83. I`m a HIC Contractor. Recently finished a job and 8 days after completion, homeowner calls & says she had to have her AC replaced due to a snapped off copper pipe leading to unit. 4 of those 8 days was Memorial Day weekend with temps from 40-60 range. Now, my job was 18k and change, & I ask for Zero down on my proposals & pymt 3 days after completion. 11 K out of my pocket, for job, labor & material. Was accused of stealing pipe for scrap. Been in business for 40 yrs & never been sued. Until now. And I dont steal. I could report to my Insurance co. , Have a 1 million $$ policy. But, I`m being scammed and so will my ins co., Taking the court route. My question is, Could that pipe be replaced instead of whole unit ?? I`m Not a HVAC Tech. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. I`m a Good Contractor, caring about quality & the homeowner. Thanks for reading & your time

  84. We are replacing the 18 yr. old outdoor heat pump (compressor failure) which utilized r22 refrigerant with a new model using r410A . An installer informed us they can flush out the existing line in the drywalled area, replace indoor coil and reconnect them where they are exposed in the basement area to the existing old air handler. Another installer informed us that they will not do the job unless all lines are replaced. After reading a letter on this site dated July 29, 2014, it would seem that the right method is to install all new lines/pipes even if it means cutting areas in the drywall. At the same time should the air handler be replaced with a new compatible model for the new heat pump?
    Natalie

    • Hi Natalie,

      It seems you have several replacement options. The best case would be to replace everything: indoor system, outdoor system, line set. This would give the best chance for a worry free system for years to come. Another option would be to replace both the indoor and outdoor coils, and flush the current line set thoroughly. This method (using the current line set) does have some risk. Depending on the age of the copper lines, they could have become work hardened over the years of service due to heat and vibration. This could result in future problems to your new system that would probably not be covered under a contractor or manufacturer’s warranty. Please keep in mind, it always a good idea to be aligned with your contractor on whatever you decide to do.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  85. HOW is it posies to pump 401A to TWICE the pressure required to make r-22 systems function without using twice the electricity??????

    • Hi Joe,

      In order to understand this better we need to look at compressor compression ratios. Compression ratios are the true amount of work a compressor must perform. In an R-22 system at ARI design (45F/130F) the system will have absolute pressures of 312 psia / 91 psia, which equals a 3.428 compressor ratio. In an R-410A system at designed ARI (45F/130F) the absolute pressures are 489 psia / 147 psia, which is equal to a 3.326 compressor ratio. The compression ratio is actually LOWER for the R-410A system, which means the compressor is actually doing LESS work due to the lower compression ratio than the R-22 system. Less work equals less energy.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  86. i want to change R22 refrigarent by R407 refrigarent in split type air condition..how can i do it…please reply with details

    • Depending on your system the procedure can be a bit involved, I would recommend checking out the following document related to this topic.

      https://opi.emersonclimate.com/CPID/GRAPHICS/Types/AEB/95-14.pdf

  87. The argument for R410 vs R22 is pretty clear from an environmental standpoint. R410 does have higher greenhouse effect, but that is offset by the lower net greenhouse emissions due to higher energy efficiency. More importantly, even if the net CO2 effect is greater for R410, CO2 buildup can be reversed or offset by other factors. Ozone depletion cannot be offset. Get it? It’s not “politics” or some kind a conspiracy, but simple science.

    • Global warming is science? Really, I thought this had been put to rest as nothing more than gibberish contrived by a select group of “scientist” when the planet was found to be cooling. Now it has been renamed something weather related, I can’t recall the exact term.

      • “Climate change” may be the term you seek. “Global warming” has been debunked so many ways that the “Warmers” had to adopt a new term. After all, who can argue with “climate change,” which we see every day and have had forever!

  88. If you have a system running R-22, is it possible to only replace the compressor unit with one that runs R-410a? I really can’t afford an entire new system right now.

    • You have several options to keep your existing R-22 indoor. One is to just replace the compressor if that is all that is wrong with your outdoor unit. R-22 compressor replacements are pretty common. You can also replace the whole outdoor unit with a new “dry charge” unit that was designed to work with R-22 refrigerant. The contractor will just have to re-charge it with his own R-22 refrigerant or some other replacement refrigerant like R-407C. You can use R-22 for repair situations like this but since 2009, the manufacturers can’t produce pre-charged R-22 systems – just replacements without refrigerant in them. This is also a common repair scenario for an R-22 system. The third option is to buy a whole new R-410A outdoor unit. You can only to this if the indoor coil is certified for both R-22 and R-410A , and many were built like that since the manufacturers knew this change was coming. If it is certified for R-410A, the contractor can simply upgrade the expansion valve on the indoor to match the new refrigerant to get it running. The lines and the indoor coil should also be flushed and cleaned well before the contractor recharges the system to remove any residual oil or debris.

      You might go ahead and get a quote on a whole new R410A system. Depending on how old your old system is you might realize a nice reduction in your energy bill from the newer unit as the minimum efficiency levels are higher now. The new system might also come with a better warranty.

  89. If the indoor coil is designed for R-410A then you should be able to use it when you replace your outdoor unit with an R-410A unit. However, you should have the contractor change the expansion device on the indoor evaporator coil so it can be properly set up for the new refrigerant. You should also have them clean and flush the old coil and also the refrigerant lines running to the outdoor unit (if you are going to keep those) to remove any residual R22 oil. If you keep the old refrigerant lines you should make sure they are also compatible with the higher pressure R-410A refrigerant and also have them checked for leaks. You might just want to have the lines changed out anyway to make sure you don’t have problems down the road.

  90. I just bought a house and the sellers said the ac unit was replaced two years ago, they only replaced the evaporator inside the unit but they went with a goodman unit that can take r22 or 410a, the condenser and compressor out side are shot. My question is can I evacuate the r22 and install 410a if I buy a new condenser that is 410a or do I need to flush the system somehow.

  91. It is difficult for us to say anything about your copper refrigerant lines without being on the job site. They could have had problems due to either pressure or fatigue over time or something else entirely. You might contact the company that manufactured your new system to see what they have to say about it. We also recommend getting multiple quotes from separate contractors for any large HVAC investments, including repair jobs like the one you are facing.

  92. I live in a remote region of Brasil. Technicians are not well formed and every non-standard material is very difficult to get. I boufht recently a AC system designed for R410a (electrolux ecoturbo T09F). After a little while, the efficiency of the AC got very poor and almost stopped to refrigerate because of a leak of pressure. I called a local “so called technician” that probably recharged with the only gaz he had (that is R22, because R410a is very uncomon in this part of the country). He put a pressure of 700 kPa (as he would do with R22 system) instead of the right pressure of 1300 kPa and did not resolved the problem of leaking. As a result the system worked at very low capacity for a few days and gradually stopped completely to refrigerate. I called back the “technician” many times but he never reappeared. Before calling an other technician, I’d like to know :
    – what is the exact consequence of having misturated R22 and R410a for my AC system?
    – resolving the leak and vaccuing the all system will it be sufficient to get back to the initial sane situation? What about the mineral oil mixed with the R22 (if recicled) that was introduced? Is-it possible to get completely rid of the mineral oil by vaccuing the system? Remains of mineral oil in the R410a system can prejudicate the good running? If so, how to get rid of it? flushing with what? With what type of liquid?
    – and finally (very important in my situation and localization) : how can I verificate that the new gaz beeing introduced will be R410a this time? Unfortunately sometimes you cannot rely on what the technician say… Is there some way to distinguish R22 from R410? By the smell, the color, consistence, or whatever else?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Patrick,

      Unfortunately this is a common situation that seems to be occurring in our industry, even when both gases are available. The gases are very different as you have pointed out, R-410A compressor displacements are about 40% less than R-22 compressors per the same capacity. So, not only would it not provide the proper amount of cooling, the compressor itself (being refrigerant cooled) might not receive the proper amount of heat rejection and could lead to a possible overheat scenario.

      With the system being open to the atmosphere, I would believe there is a large amount of moisture now inside the system. Which means the POE (for R-410A) would start to hydrolyze back into an organic acid. The system leak needs to be repaired, system inline filter driers installed or replaced, and be able to maintain a vacuum. Then recharge with the proper refrigerant. Any mineral oil that remains in the R-410A system (from the R-22 charging mistake) needs to be below 5% when compared to the total system oil, the only way to check this is a refractometer. So it might be best to replace the system oil with new POE.

      The only way to check the refrigerant type when in a tank would be to connect a gauge to the tank, and use a Pressure Temperature chart for R-410A. For pure R-410A at sea level, as long as the tank has some liquid in it, the tank temperature should match the P/T chart pressure. Example: if my tank temperature is 27C (80F), then for R-410A the tank pressure should be: 1640 kpa (238 psig) per the chart.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

      • it helps a lot to understand, Scott, many thanks for your very clear and detailed answer! Now I’m prepared to deal better with some other technicien! Cheers!

  93. I just had a brand new AC unit (inside and out) installed 13 months ago. The company did not say anything to me about changing the copper piping. I stupidly assumed that when installing a new unit, they would install everything new. When installing the new unit I switched over from r-22 to 410a.

    Now the copper piping has cracked and they want $2200 to replace the piping. I have read a lot about the pressure differences between the two coolants. Did my copper piping most likely break because they switched to the new coolant system without replacing the pipes?

    Also, is this something I should expect the company to be responsible for considering they installed a whole new unit and changed to the 410a without changing the piping or even recommending it to me? It seems like a reputable company would have replaced the piping with the initial $3k install or at least recommend it

  94. It is probalby best to have a qualified HVAC technician who is familiar with your existing brand of equipment look at. You might also be able to check with the company that manufactured your system to see if they can tell you if it will work with R-410A. You will need the model number and maybe the serial number from they system to have them help you. You might need the number from both the indoor and outdoor units.

  95. On copper line sizing, your contractor should be able to advise you if it will be possible to use the existing lines for your new system. Your old system is probably R-22 and the new one will probably be R-410A. If the old lines are used they will definitely need to be cleaned and flushed out to remove any residual R-22 oil which is not compatible with R-410A oil. Another risk you might have with using old lines is the potential for leaks due to fatigue that happens over time. R-410A systems operate at higher pressures than R-22 as well so you might be better off just using new copper lines if they can be installed.

    Another thing we noticed about your post was the move from a “2 ton” system to “3-4 ton” system and your reference to “SEER” as a “size”. First of all, the jump from 2 tons to 3 tons would be a significant increase in “size” or cooling capacity. Having an oversized system can cause just as many problems as an undersized system. An undersized system will not keep up on the hottest days and an oversized system will not run long enough to keep you comfortable and humidity free on moderately hot days (most of the time). Your contractor should be able to do some calculations that will tell you what size system is best for you and this calculation would take into consideration the space you are cooling, number of doors and windows, insulation thickness, etc., and is very important to getting your system capacity right.

    You also mentioned “SEER”, which is a measure of efficiency. If you install a 16 SEER or higher system with capacity modulation you should get both energy savings and improved comfort from what you are experiencing today with your current system. There are a number of articles posted on this site that explain some of the benefits from 16+ SEER and you can search for some of these and other terms mentioned above if you want more information.

    Hope this helps.

  96. This is such a helpful forum! What I would like to address is the copper piping proper size. Our 2 ton Lenox system has lasted 18 years. The seer size was originally probably 12; and now around 10, to be realistic. I am considering a 3-4 ton system with a seer rating of 15-17. The existing copper is 3/4. Is this an issue?

    • Just to follow up on your pipe sizing question when changing unit capacity sizing. Assuming your current pipe sizing for the 2-ton unit is with a 3/8 OD liquid line and a 7/8 OD suction, to properly size your line set for a 4 ton unit, your Liquid line should be 1/2 inch OD with a 1-1/8 inch OD suction line.

      OD=Outside Diameter dimension

      Scott

  97. It might be good to also get one or two other opinions from qualified contractors before you make your final decision. They might all say the same thing but at least you will know a little more about the options and risks.

  98. Hi Mark. We can’t comment on the exact problem you are having as that would depend on the onsite diagnosis by a qualified contractor. However, if you think you have mismatched indoor and outdoor components then that could lead to problems like the ones you are experiencing. Here are our answers to your questions.
    1. There are four main subcomponents to your AC system – the outdoor unit (with the compressor), the indoor fan coil, the expansion device on the indoor coil and the refrigerant line sets that connect the indoor with the outdoor. All four of these subcomponents should be matched and qualified to whatever refrigerant you are using. If any one of them is not right, then you could have poor performance or you could severely damage your system. Some of these components could be dual qualified for both R-410A and R-22, but they might need to be flushed and retrofitted or adjusted to accommodate a refrigerant change. In any case, you really need them all to be matched in both size (capacity) and all with the same, qualified refrigerant.

    2. Since your air handler is older you might want to go ahead and replace it, but if is running ok and you just want to get your indoor coil and expansion device matched to your new outdoor unit, you could do that and save some money. Just make sure they are all qualified for the same refrigerant – probably R-410A, to match your outdoor unit.

    3. Running a mismatched system can cause the coil to freeze due to improper metering device sizing, but other problems could be happening too and some of these can damage your system. It would be better not to run it until you can get it inspected and set up with all matched components, particularly the metering device.

    I hope this helps.

    • Frank –

      Thank you for the insight and advice. I had someone in today to quote me options and he shared that they would not install only an air handler/furnace (the indoor fan coil is the original R-22 installation) since the unmatched compressor and lines could have inherent problems that could affect the air handler. They quoted on a full replacement system.

      I asked if they could not validate in some way the York R410A compressor was okay (only 1 yr. old) but they said not for sure and declined to quote only a new handler. My next step is to call a York HVAC distributor to see if they differ from the advice.

  99. I had my HVAC system inspected and serviced (a promised gazillion point inspection) in the early spring. The licensed HVAC tech gave the system a thumbs up but warned a true test of performance wasn’t done since the ambient temp. outdoors was cool.

    I was having performance issues (just not cooling the house) and asked an HVAC contractor who was working at my next door neighbors if he would inspect it. He informed and showed me that my furnace/air handler was frozen (lines and body). He shared that my 2013 R410a York compressor and 2005 R-22 designed furnace/air handler could not work together appropriately stating the pressures from the R410a are too high for the R-22 air handler.

    The 2.5Ton compressor was installed when the property was bank owned so shortcuts and less cost are the predominant themes…not quality.

    Is it true you can’t match a R410a compressor with a R-22 furnace/air handler? Should I replace my air handler? Could I be harming my 2005 compressor now but running it? I am running at a high temp (78 deg.) which is where I can run it without freezing the system.

    Thanks for any advice.

  100. Thank you so much for your advice. The coil was confirmed to be new and there is a TXV to work with R-410A available, but I would be concerned about the extra pressure and the reduced fin area. I think I have found a solution. I can cut into the ductwork to raise the effective height of the evaporator to allow a modern R-410A coil. I am getting a condensing unit to match for a 16 SEER rating. I considered changing out the furnace but it is already a “high-90’s” efficient furnace (exhaust from combustion is barely warm to my hand). Also, we are in Oregon where our heating season is pretty mild so our furnace has very little wear and probably lots of years left (hopefully!).

    Thanks again!

  101. You are actually dealing with two regulations – one is the R-22 phase out for new systems that happened in 2010 and the other is the new regulated minimum efficiency level of 13 SEER which happened in 2006. The 13 SEER systems (both indoor and outdoor) are usually larger than the older, lower SEER systems and that is probably what is driving your indoor fit up problem.

    Considering your furnace is 16 years old, you might want to consider replacing it now, along with upgrading to a more current model for the whole system. Another approach might be to consider “dual fuel” system, which is a heat pump that does both heating and cooling, but allows the contractor to retrofit your old gas furnace (or a new one) to use gas heat for auxiliary heating on really cold days. We also recommend a 16 SEER or greater SEER AC system with at least two steps of cooling capacity to provide the best comfort and humidity control, but keep in mind this would also require a new indoor unit. All these options depend on where you live and your individual heating and cooling needs. Your HVAC contractor should be able to advise you on these to help you get a system that will work best for you.

    If you decide to stay with your current furnace, here are some answers to your posted questions.

    1. All new coils are supposed to only be approved for use with R-410A as part of the Montreal Protocol, R-22 phase-out for new equipment in 2010). If you have an R-22 coil it is either one left over from pre-2010 or it might be a used coil from other equipment. Some R-22 coils can be retrofitted with expansion devices to be suitable for R-410A. I am not sure about taking an R410A coil back to R-22 but I guess it is possible. In any case, the efficiency will be dependent on the coil size, fin size and spacing, and installing the right expansion device in addition to the refrigerant. It all has to work together.
    2. There is a process for flushing out an old coil and lines to remove the old oil. Note, all of the refrigerant would have evaporated from an old coil if opened for any length of time but some oil usually remains. R-22 systems use mineral oil and R-410A can only be used with synthetic POE oil. Flushing the coil before retrofitting refrigerants is important, especially when going from R-22 to R-410A. When converting a mineral oil system to POE, the total amount of residual mineral oil should be kept to a minimum.
    3. R-410A is a higher pressure refrigerant so the newer coils are designed to handle it. Some R-22 coils were designed to handle both, but older R-22 coils were only designed for lower pressures so you should not use those with higher pressure R-410A.

    I hope this information helps with your decision.

  102. I have a high efficiency Ruud gas furnace which was installed about 16 years ago and included an enclosure for evaporator coil. I would like to install a coil and buy a 3-ton condensing unit. I prefer R-410 and all pieces will be new. My problem is that the evaporator enclosure is not very tall so most coils will not fit. I did find a Rheem unit which matches the model originally listed for the furnace. However, I am sure it is for R-22. Three questions: 1) if the coil is purchased dry, with just a nitrogen purge, could the expansion valve be changed to get full efficiency from R-410? 2) If the unit comes with some refrigerant in it, can it be purged effectively to work with R-410? 3) Are there pressure or heat transfer issues (ex: exposed fin area) which are arguments for not using an R-22 evaporator with R-410? Thank you for any tips!

  103. If you are replacing both indoor and outdoor units then you really only have the R-410A option. R-22 is only allowed in repair situations where only the outdoor is changed. This ban on R22 in new installations was part of the Montreal Protocol that went into effect in 2010 since R22 is harmful to the ozone. In the long run you should be better off with R-410A since R22 refrigerant is likely to become less available and more expensive in the future in case you need your system repaired at some point. R22 and R-410A systems are equivalent and both will provide the same rated efficiency as appears on the label. However, you might have more high efficiency options with R-410A than R-22 since only repair units (dry charge) are supposed to be available as new production. Hope this helps.

  104. Replacing inside and outside unit. Everything I read says change to 410a. Are there any advantages to replacing with r22?

  105. I was recently told by an HVAC contractor that my AC unit had a R410a based compressor installed on a R22 based system. Unfortunately I can’t confirm this since he has taken away the old compressor.

    Is this even possible? How could the AC have performed for two years in that configuration. The unit is a Goodman and designated as R22

    The unit is still under warranty and I suspect the contractor and supply house are colluding to get me to pay the full cost of the new R22 compressor by claiming that Goodman says they won’t honor the warranty since the wrong compressor was put in.

    Please help

    • Operating an approved R-410A compressor within a system designed for, and using R-22 refrigerant could shorten the compressor’s life span. But sometimes, even the wrong replacement compressor will run for a while. But this misapplication will run inefficiently, at a lower capacity (-30% to -40%) and could have potential problems that show up later.

      It might be a good idea to get another opinion from a different contractor about your system.

  106. It is common to add refrigerant back to the system after repairing a leak – including R-410A. However, in these situations is it important to make sure you are recharging with the same refrigerant that was in the system originally or an approved equivalent refrigerant which may have some unique recharging guidelines as specified by the system manufacturer. It is also important to insure that you get the proper charge level back into the system. Here is some information with a link to a mobile phone app that many contractors use to achieve proper charge levels.
    http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/Resources/Mobile_Apps/Pages/HVAC_Check_Charge.aspx

  107. hi sir is it possibel to top up unit charged with 410 gas if there is small leakage after fixing that can we add [ top up] the airconditioin

  108. My system was converted to a dual zone about 12 years ago. A new evaporator as well as new copper was installed and connected to an existing r22 compressor. The 20 year old compressor died recently requiring a new compressor. Should I go with a 13 seer 2 ton r22 unit or get a new 16 seer r410a system that requires all new tubing as well as an new evaporator. The cost difference is over $1700. Please advise. Thanks

    • 20 years is an exceptional service life span, and you truly got your money’s worth out of the system. The existing “new coil” has 8+ years life on it, and under normal circumstances this would be half way through it appliance life span. Although $1700 is a lot of money upfront, it is a small price to pay for potentially another 20 years of superior comfort. I would also make sure the 16 SEER system you are considering has at least two steps of compressor capacity modulation (most do, but some don’t). This is especially important if you want to zone off rooms. Capacity modulation also helps with temperature swings and humidity reduction if you live in an area where that can be a problem.

  109. Sir,

    We have the split units(2 Ton) ,2 Star with R 22 Gas, Now we would like to change with 407C Gas.

    What are all the parts to be replaced?
    Is there any power savings in this, by converting to 407C Gas?

    Please help me.

    Thank you.

    • Not sure if you are meaning to refer to R-410A, but I will answer your question as written. R-407C is about -5% below R-22 in both refrigerant performance and capacity. When converting to R-407C, I would verify that the compressor oil is compatible (POE) along with the metering device. If these are not compatible they will need to be replaced. One other area to keep in mind is that R-407C has a refrigerant glide of 4.5°C, So make sure you are using the correct saturation column on the P/T chart when charging.

      Good luck with your conversion,
      Scott

  110. It sounds like you are making progress. Here are a few answers to your other questions:

    1 Generally more air flow will help with humidity reduction as that will keep more air circulating across the cold coil when it is running. Some people actually let the fan run constantly when it is really humid (set it to “on” not “auto”) so the fan runs even when the system is not actually cooling. Conversely, the lower blower setting will generally make any humidity problem even worse as less of the moist air will pass over the coil.

    2 Systems with capacity modulation can run at full capacity during the hottest part of the day (e.g 2 tons) and then switch down to a lower capacity (e.g. 1.3 tons) if needed, at night or on a warm, but not a “hot” day.

    3 The overall efficiency throughout the cooling season (SEER) for these modulating units is usually better than most fixed capacity systems which must be sized for the hottest day but cycle a lot at night. The lower capacity settings also feature lower and sometimes longer indoor blower settings and are thus pretty quiet too on the low stage when you are trying to sleep. They also generally use less energy when running at the lower capacity which makes them more efficient.

    4 Since you are already invested in a new system you might try turning the temperature setting down a little at night and letting the fan run all night. If this is a constant problem, maybe a programmable thermostat could do this for you automatically. Using dehumidifiers during the humid season might be another option to avoid further investment in a totally new system.

    Here are a few articles from our site that might provide more information.
    http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/why-humidity-control-is-important-in-the-cooling-season-2/
    http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/what-factors-affect-my-comfort/
    http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/homeowner-comparing-options-for-cooling-your-home/
    http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/hvac-glossary-of-terms/

  111. Getting the indoor and outdoor equipment all on the same refrigerant would be the best approach but if you decide to keep the same mismatched equipment, its performance (cooling and energy use) could be less than optimal and might be inadequate for your needs. Some indoor coils were designed to handle both R-22 and R-410A so if this is the case with your indoor coil, you might want to ask the contractor to verify that the orifice you are using is the right one for the refrigerant you are using.

    Some of the problems you are experiencing could also be caused by the outdoor unit being too small to keep up with your needs. Going from 2.25 tons to 1.5 tons seems like a pretty large change but if your system is set up properly and you still have problems then you might need to check to see if it has enough capacity. There is a standard set of calculations that most contractors use to determine the best cooling capacity to match the space to be cooled so these might need to be rechecked. If you go with a different unit you might want to look into a 16+ SEER system with at least two steps of capacity modulation to address humidity problems throughout the cooling season. These also come with variable speed indoor air handlers which might address your other question about air flow.

    BTW, the proper refrigerant charge level should not be variable and should be set to the design of the system. Reducing charge level to achieve longer run time is not recommended and could actually cause damage to the system. Here is a link for a smart phone app that many contractors use to set the proper refrigerant charge.

    http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/Resources/Mobile_Apps/Pages/HVAC_Check_Charge.aspx.

    Hope this helps.

    • Thanks for the rapid and very clear response. The installer did come back after a week to replace the expansion valve on the inside coil… he did not have one initially so did the install anyway. System was very noisy, could here and feel vibration in house when it ran. The noise disappeared after changing to valve that he stated allowed him to use the R22 in this system. There is a label on air handler cabinet that states R410A only… my assumption was that this valve was what determined acceptable refrigerant. What would high vs low speed fan do to my humidity situation? Does the type of unit with capacity modulation use more energy at night to drop humidity, then return to daytime system which does OK, in my situation? If so that would be fine and a change would be worth it. I plan on discussing with installer once I have done sufficient background research.
      I did not do enough research prior to purchase or I would have caught this in advance… I am a trusting soul and expect the treatment that I would give them… shame on me!
      My house is less than 840sqft and the 2.25ton unit was way too cold when on but wouldn’t drop the humidity at night unless set to colder temps. His calculations supported the 1.5ton unit but I am going research and make sure I have sufficient outlets. I also have a central, single cold air return mounted as low as it can go, but we circulate the air with ceiling fans in all rooms except the bathroom. I will be going to a higher location central air return with high mounted intakes for the rooms with doors.
      Your response helped tremendously.
      thank you,
      Harry

  112. I just had a new system installed and not sure I did the right thing. Outside unit is R-22(1.5ton) and inside is R410… should I push for outside unit to be changed to a R410 unit? Serious difference between new and WORKING old system, which was a 15yr old Goodman/Janitrol(2.25ton)… I now have higher humidity upstairs and down and basement is 10 degrees warmer. Installer adjusted Freon(removed) to make unit run more and that helped a small bit but extra runtime will increase our utility bill. Old unit worked great was just too big for home and 10 SEER. I was led to believe that the new system would do away with COLD DAMP air as the new system would run more and thus drop humidity. THIS DID NOT OCCUR!!!!!
    New furnace is 95% vs 65% and looking forward to those savings… but this AC situation is bothering me.
    Did I do wrong in accepting ONLY a SEER 13 unit?(old unit was a 10)
    What is true fix for overnight humidity spike?
    What blower speeds are suggested for ac, heat and continuous fan?
    Thanks,
    Harry

  113. Dear Sir
    My +10 year split unit (R22) had failed and I intended to install newer set. However I was told that the existing copper piping has to be replaced inorder to receive new set of aircond using R410. My existing copper piping is concealed behind built-in wardrobe and furniture and I dont want to spend money to rip and rebuild the furniture. Can I re-use the old piping for the R410 gas. Do I expect any future leakage of gas, deterioration of piping etc. If no choice, my only option is to new unit with R22.
    Please advise,

    • Some contractors have had success using existing copper lines but they neeed to be cleaned and flushed out before using them with the new refrigerant. Whle older lines do not normally deteriorate over time they are still subject to vibration and fatigue. If your lines have braze joints or have a lot of contact with other surfaces this could lead to future leaks. In any case it might be best to get some more input from one or more qualified contractors on the specifics of your particular situation. Hope this helps.

  114. It is important to match the original refrigerant in the unit if you are recharging. The chemicals are different and the oils are different too. Mixing refrigerants can lead to problems. Hope this helps.

  115. I have a kenmore dehumidifier that is not generating any water in the bucket. The compressor seems to be kicking in and out properly and the humidity sensor seems to be functioning fine, and the fan runs well too. The filter has been cleaned and the evaporator coils and condenser have also been gently cleaned. When running the evaporator coils do get cold…but not cold enough to cause the moisture in the air to reach its dew point and condense. The unit is sealed, so I installed a bullet piercing valve on the low side line going into the compressor to allow for recharging. The compressor runs A410-A refrigerant and I wanted to know if it is okay to add a small charge of Redtek 22a refrigerant (this is an Eco friendly substitute for R22 that is sold in small 6 and 12 oz cans…like the car a/c stuff) to top off the system?

    Thanks.

  116. About 2 years ago my coil developed a freon (R22) leak and was replaced with a unit designed for R410A. I did not replace the compressor but I need to do so now. My question is since the system is all R22 (even though the coil is designed for R410A), should I replace both the coil and compressor with all R410A equipment or just go with a dry charged R22 compressor and keep everything R22? Thanks.

    • Craig,

      Thanks for the question! It’s a matter of what you want to get out of the system, If lowest cost is the only objective, you could keep the system as an R-22, and just replace the outdoor unit (coil & compressor) and maybe save a little money. If your goal is improved efficiency and a longer term solution (if R-22 becomes scarce in the future) you might want to consider an R-410-A unit with a little higher efficiency rating (almost all R-22 units available now are only13 SEER). Either way I would talk to a qualified HVAC Service Company to do the system change out and discuss various options and trade-offs. The article attached to the link below might provide more info on this.

      http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/r22-outdoor-unit-replacement-decision/#sthash.e5diUa5J

  117. Thanks for your comments. This is a very common situation and we agree with all your points. Here are a few other comments and suggestions on this topic which you might find helpful in the future.

    Replacing an R22 compressor or the outdoor unit (which contains the compressor) is a good, low cost way to get your AC running again without changing out the indoor part of the system (which contains the cooling coil, the blower and often is integrated with a gas furnace or other heating system). If the indoor components are still in good shape and you can find the R22 outdoor replacement parts and the R22 refrigerant you can save some money. Many people do this and many contractors support this approach. We think this sort of repair will be a viable, low cost repair option for at least through 2016 and maybe longer – as long as parts are available.

    Some other low cost replacement options should be emerging even after the R22 availability becomes difficult. Many R22 indoor coils build since 2006 were designed to be retrofitted to R410A so a homeowner can still keep the indoor equipment but upgrade to a newer outdoor. There are some extra parts and steps involved but it should still be lower cost than total system replacement. Unfortunately, just like with the R22 replacements, the overall efficiency of the system usually will not improve when only the outdoor equipment is replaced.

    For people who are willing to pay a little more, some new, high efficiency retrofits are becoming available in the market. These should help satisfy homeowners who want the low cost replacement but would also like to reduce their energy bills or address some comfort issues like humidity control, nighttime temperature spikes or sound and air quality.

    Thanks for your comments!

  118. When our old AC unit could no longer be repaired (was burning out a wire, but our tech was able to give us two more years out of the unit for about a $200 fix). When the time came to replace the unit, we were offered the “opportunity” to gut our existing system and ductwork and spend $10k or more to pretend to save the environment by going to an R410A system. At the 11th hour, I asked if we could get an R22 replacement unit instead (I had tracked down a compressor for our unit for about $700, which prompted me to ask). We got our new R22 AC for about $2-$3k. In eight years, the original unit (which died in its 19th year) never needed refrigerant. I’ll gladly take my chances on R22 refrigerant prices going up vs. eating a huge government-extorted up-front cost to rip out perfectly good equipment in support of a new R410a system.

  119. Hello I am in the process of replacing my old AC unit with a new one. The old one is R-22 hence I would like to buy the same type which I found. However, I was told the compressor is filled with synthetic oil instead of mineral but according to your description all R-22 has mineral based oil. Can the freon and oil be mixed where R-22 is mixed with synthetic oil? I am almost ready to buy the unit but because of the oil issue I am unable to decide. I am not 100% sure if my older AC unit used mineral oil but based on the year it was purchased it is likely. The old unit is York model H2DB024S06A. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

    • Your old unit is probably R-22 and has mineral oil in it. The new R-22 unit you are considering is designed for use with R-22 refrigerant, but features the new synthetic oil – called “POE” which is becoming the industry standard. You can check with the contractor, the manufacturer or the seller of the unit to make sure, but most guidelines for these retrofits indicate you can use a new unit with POE in these situations without having problems with the oils. Most of the oil from the old unit will be contained in the old unit being replaced anyway and the residual oil left in the lines and indoor coil should be minimal. This is a good question to ask, as both oils are compatible with R-22 refrigerant.
      Good luck with your retrofit!

  120. A couple things might be going on here but it seems like the person advising you might be comparing an R410A system or component replacements with an R22 component/system replacement. But R22 indoor air handlers have not been produced for use in the US since 2010 – over three years ago. If there happens to be one in stock somewhere, I could see how it might have been acquired at lower cost – after inflation – or might even be used or reconditioned. The other thing going on might be the cost of new refrigerant. If your old R22 refrigerant can be reclaimed and re-used that might drive those costs a little lower. One other possibility is that the R22 system might have a lower SEER efficiency (if it was produced before they raised the minimum SEER in 2006) and the new R410A system is at the new minimum of 13 SEER. If this is the case, the indoor air handler will be larger and might require more labor to get it to fit into your space. If it is lower efficiency, it would also probably be lower cost too.
    It is always good to ask your contractor to explain these things and show you exactly what they are planning to replace and why. You might also want to get another opinion from another contractor. It is hard for us to speculate without being on the job with you. These are interesting questions though so thanks for sharing. I hope this helps.

  121. Hi Shawn. Thanks for the post. Here is my interpretation of what you were told.

    “handler” usually refers to the “indoor air handler” which includes a coil, an air moving blower and other components which might be located in your basement, attic or in a utility closet.

    “compressor” is probably referring to your “outdoor unit” which contains a coil, a compressor and some other components”

    Before 2010, if you had an R22 outdoor unit failure you could usually get a replacement to match your R22 indoor air handler. The problem is that the US government agreed to restrictions on the use of R22 refrigerant because it was proven to be harmful to the ozone. After January 1, 2010 it was no longer legal to install a new R22 system.

    Unfortunately, R22 components and R410A components are not compatible with each other due to different pressures, type of oil used, etc., and this includes the compressor which is in the outdoor unit. There are still a few R22 outdoor units available and if you can find one, this might be a low cost repair option. If you have to go to R410A you will have to replace the whole system – both the indoor and outdoor equipment must be matched to the refrigerant. This might be why you are being told that the R410A option is more costly than the R22 retrofit with your existing indoor unit.

    If you decide to stay with R22 you might want to ask about how expensive it will be to recharge the refrigerant if you ever have a leak because the government is restricting the production of R22 and the costs are going up. You might also ask about the efficiency improvement (energy cost savings) you might get from a new system versus retrofitting the old one which might have a lower “SEER” rating.

    A lot the terms used above are mentioned in other articles on this site so you might try searching for them if you have other questions. I hope this helps. Thanks for your post!

    • Thank you for your reply and the explanation.
      I was told to replace the in door handler with electric heat and also the compressor.
      I just wonder why it will cost much more with r410a system if both of the handler and the compressor are going to be replaced.
      Many thanks

  122. My AC was not working and I was told to replace it with a new one, both the handler and the compressor. I was told that there was going to be some difference /price for installing r-22 system and r-410a system as the r-410a system requires more work. Why is r-410a system more expensive to install?

    Shawn

  123. I have a chiller with a 5 ton copeland scroll compressor that needs the compressor replaced. The compressor is an R22 unit. The chiller is 9 years old and was working fine until the compressor failed. Should I replace with a similar sized R410a compressor that I have access to or should I replace with the same R22 unit? Are there other components that need to be replaced when changing compressors?

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your question. As the compressor in the original unit you described is a R-22 compressor, any replacement must be R-22 compatible compressor. R-22 specific components are not usually interchangeable with R-410A components and this is definitely true with compressors. So, if your thought is to replace only the compressor, the new compressor must also be a R-22 compressor (like for like). When replacing a compressor, other devices or accessories to consider replacing would include: compressor contactors / relays, start components, run components, crankcase heaters, filter/driers, site glass, ect.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott

  124. I have to ask why everyone has to have the government dictate policy and we all just follow along like sheep? Wouldn’t be nice if just once some our leading HVAC manufacturers stepped up to the plate and made changes without the government? What comes next the government directs us as with regulations on when we can run the units?

    • Government sets the laws, we get to follow them. If we didn’t have laws to protect air quality and have uniform building codes it would be utter chaos when disaster hits much more so than current.

      Example: China / Haiti

      • Companies are worried about one thing, $$$. They will never put customer wants or desires out front unless it interferes with their first priority. Government is usually in the corner of the companies as they have the $$$. The media have their own agenda.

      • lICENSED hvac CONTRACTOR: “tHIS IS WHAT WE ARE USING TO REPLACE THE r22 AND YOUR SYSTEM IS 2 LBS LOW.” wHATEVER HE PUT IN-THE HOUSE WONT COOL BELOW 80 AND THE SUCTION LINE AINT SWEATING. i WISH THE epa WOULD STOP AND THE fed WOULD STOP AND THE dea WOULD STOP…AND WE COULD ALL LIVE LIFE….yOU LIVE IN THAT WORLD WHERE YOU THINK THIS NEW REFRIGERANT WILL ACTUALLY SAVE THE PLANET? hATE TO BUST A BUBBLE….WE HAVE VOLCANOES……WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THEM,…CORK EM UP?nOW i NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT THE HE PUT IN THERE,IF ITS THAT 410A STUFF,AND HE IS A LICENSED CONTRACTOR, WHY WOULD HE DO SUCH A THING?

    • Amen… it appears that business and government are clearly working together to stimulate sales and mislead the masses. Interesting that this is NOT what we are led to believe by the media on either side… one side worships business and the other wants to control and manipulate… in reality? Big biz iz walking hand in hand. Consider the number of ex gov officials that become lobbyists. Wasn’t this prez supposed to do away with them? Enough said… I just had a new system installed and not sure I did the right thing. Outside unit is R-22(1.5ton) and inside is R410… should I push for outside unit to be changed to a R410 unit? Serious difference between new and WORKING old system, which was a 15yr old Goodman/Janitrol(2.25ton)… I now have higher humidity upstairs and down and basement is 10 degrees warmer. Installer adjusted Freon(removed) to make unit run more and that helped a small bit but extra runtime will increase our utility bill. Old unit worked was just too big for home and 10 SEER. New furnace is 95% vs 65% and looking forward to those savings… but this AC situation is bothering me.

          • When I went through the first EPA certification training (when r12 was being banned circa mid-1980’s) the refrigeration industry was patting themselves on the back about how environmentally sensitive they were (they voted the EPA chief that came up with this program “HVAC Man of the Year”). All I thought of was “cha-ching”!! Let’s see . . . everyone will have to replace their systems instead of adding a $2/lb can of R12 refrigerant and they have to come to us (Certified A/C Techs) to get it done. Compare this to the electric utility industry that is constantly taking it on the chin with the media and environmental groups because they care about the impact new environmental regulations have on decisions say a widow on a fixed income must make about paying for food & medicine vs. a high utility bill. BTW, utilities make money by investing in new power plants & pollution controls and passing those ‘prudently incurred’ costs on to their customers along with their guaranteed rate of return on invested capital. Who really is wearing the ‘White Hat’ here?

  125. Your six year old system probably had R22 refrigerant and not R12 which is used in old refrigerators and not AC. The R410A indoor will not work with an R22 outdoor. You should probably call a good HVAC contractor to get another opinion but I think you should probably replace both the indoor and the outdoor units to R410A. The R22 outdoor has an entirely different compressor with different oil, etc., and will not work with an R410A indoor coil and all the other components.

  126. I am replacing my air handler with a new r410a system but my outside system is 6 years old and had r12 freon,I am planing to use the r410a freon in the system , will a damage the compressor ? Keep in mind this is a heat pump. Thanks

  127. No. R22 and R410A are not compatible and combining them in your system will cause serious problems. I would suggest having an HVAC contractor check your system to make sure it really is low on charge. If it is low, maybe the contractor can find the source of the refrigerant leak and fix it so you won’t need to keep adding refrigerant which can get to be expensive. Having the proper charge is essential to HVAC peformance and the long term reliability and life of your system.

    • Hi Danny,

      Great question, this one has been coming up a lot lately. R-22 and R-410A are completely different substances, and should be treated as such.
      Mixing these two refrigerants together in a system is NOT advisable. Please call a local HVAC Service Company and allow a qualified Technician to inspect your equipment.

  128. Our air conditioning stopped working and we hired a AC company to fix it. They told use that we needed to replace the air handler but not the 13 year old compressor. The AC was not worked correctly since the installation. House never gets below 85 degrees and the AC unit run all the time. Since the new unit was installed, our electric bill has doubled. Did the company mislead use by not installing a new compressor. Are we doing damage to the new air handler we bought? Any suggestions?

  129. Hi Anne,

    As long as the unit is sized correctly, it makes no difference which approved refrigerant is used. My thought, either the blower speed is not set correctly or the unit (possibly due to temperature at the time of charging) might need it’s refrigerant charge amount checked. Either of these would require the company that did the installation to return to the job. All contractors understand the important of satisfied customers and should be happy to help find a solution.

  130. I just had a new 410a 5 ton condenser and blower installed replacing an older r22a. The air generated is not nearly as cold as the r22a. Can’t get the house below 80 degrees. What’s wrong?

    • Is the new unit the same tonnage capacity as the old unit? IE 3 ton – 3-ton? If over-sized for the home it won’t run long enough to pull the humidity out of the air. Perhaps the installer didn’t vacuum the lines down enough or properly before adding refrigerant or perhaps not enough of it. I had a 21 year old 2.5 ton Comfortmaker split system heat pump and just replaced it with a 2.5 ton Goodman using 410a and it is colder than the R22 ever was. Have a technician check your system and perhaps recover all refrigerant, pull a vacuum and replace the refrigerant. Could have been a bad/contaminated batch.

      • In June we replaced our old system with the new R410 system. During the summer our AC performed poorly failing to reach 78F inside and raising our electric bill. Now the system fails to turn off until outdoor temps exceed 60F, while the overnight low is 50F…with our thermostat set at 74F. Our old systems were always set at 78F Technicians have verified refrigerant is within range on numerous occasions. I can ask them to vacuum the lines, but frankly do not believe 410 systems are as good as old 22 systems. We use a 3 ton system, 1845 sq feet. The design performance test comparisons were limited in range, 55F to 82F, and R22 outperformed R410A in those. Please tell me why those results should not be extrapolated to predict poor R410A performance over true operating ranges? Also, why are contractors not raising the tonnage to compensate for this during installation?

        • On your question about R410A versus R22, the OEM’s design the equipment around the different properties of the refrigerant to meet a certain capacity and efficiency. There should not be any difference between the performance of systems with different refrigerant.

          As for your particular situation, if you only replaced the outdoor unit and not the indoor coil you might check to make sure those are properly matched. We have heard of a few situations where people upgraded the outdoor to R410A but left the old R22 indoor and this can lead to problems. One other thing you might do is check the specs of the unit you installed versus the one you replaced – they should have similar capacity (BTUH). If nothing else has changed in your living space (size, windows, insulation, etc) and the old and new system are similar in size and the charge is right it should be keeping up. If none of this works and the contractor is sure the amount of refrigerant is right and there are no leaks, etc., you might also try calling the OEM who built the equipment to see what they have to say about it.

          • Complete system change out from old to new, including the line sets. Technicians from the same contractor have reported correct pressures, including their boss…who has checked them twice in the past three weeks. Concerning the OEM, I went to their website and sent reports concerning their model. I also found their customer service staff phone on line. Their staff reported none of the technical requests on the online form are submitted to their engineers. In fact they go to the customer service personnel, who cannot answer actual engineering questions. They told me to contact my contractor and have him contact their company. They suggested I get another area contractor to verify my system is installed correctly, should I deem to pay for such service. In short, worthless OEM assistance.

            Currently, my contractor is ducking my calls. I wonder why?

  131. It is vitually impossible to retrofit a system designed for R22 to be suitable for use with R410A. The compressor and other major components are totally different and you would have to change all of them. There are some approved R22 retrofit refrigerants available like R407C, but most of these would require you to change the oil in the compressor. R22 systems use mineral oil and the retrofits use synthetic (POE) oil. It might be better to check with a qualified contractor to advise you on your options. The contractor might also help you find the leak that is causing your system to lose charge. In any case, be careful with matching the right oil with the right refrigerant because some combinations can cause clogging in the system and poor lubrication which can lead to worse problems and could force you to buy a whole new system. Hope this helps.

  132. P;ease send me the details of what all I need to purchase to recharge with R-410 as a substitute for R-22. I have the regulators/hoses for the high and low pressure ports, If that will save me a few bucks. please let me know what the prices for what you recommend too. thanks you, John Berry

  133. R410A requires a redesign of the R22 system and R-410A can’t simply be substituted for R22 in the R22 system. There are increases in heat exchanger efficiency with R410A versus R22. When the heat exchanger is properly sized for the increase in efficiency the air side delta Ts are approximately the same for R22 and R410A systems. Hope this helps.

    • my old unit is shot and I need a 3.5 to 4 ton unit and I have no idea what to get that will successfully work with R410A (what brand/model) that will not fail as others have with new refrig – seems most are being investigated for failure with R410A. I also don’t know who to get to install it (Little Rock, Arkansas). it is over 100 degrees many days and my unit is set on 74 and only reaches it overnight and when I return from work house is 82 degrees. I desperately need to know what to get that will work well with new refrig. The $ outlay does not allow for errors. Please consider emailing me with answers. I sincerely, appreciate your help – Valerie

      • Hi Valerie,
        R410A has been the primary (only) refrigerant used in new, residential air conditioning equipment since January, 2010. Exceptions have been R22 partial replacements and R22 used for re-charging in the field. The industry experience with R410A has been very good overall as well so I am not sure what failures you are referring to in your post. If you are considering a new system, about the only choice you will have will be with R410A, unless you are just changing the outdoor unit. In this case, you might find a compatible R22 outdoor unit that was built before 1/1/15 to use in a partial replacement (assuming your indoor is R22).

        The charter for this site does not allow us to comment on or recommend any equipment brands or specific service providers. We do however, support industry organizations like ACCA who provide the training and certification of HVAC contractors. Here is their link to their search tool.

        http://www.acca.org/locator

        I hope this information is helpful to you.

  134. Dear all,

    Good morning,

    I am working in industrial as well as heavy commercial refrigeration system designing, as per above it is cleared that instead of R22, R410 is reliable to use, My query is shall we use R410 in heat pump application & what about delta T calculations in heat pump

  135. R-410a will also be phased out at some point in the future and is no better for the environment than R-22. R-410a has a higher Global Warming Potential (1725 GWP) than R-22 (1700 GWP). R-22 has only a Ozone Depletion Potential of 0.05 and the decision to push R-410a over R-22 was more of a political decision than an environmental one.

    • everything is political nowadays, and it’s nothing we can do about it. My husband passed away last year and left a full container of R22. As a widow, needing money, I don’t even know how much to sell it for, do you?

      • The local on-line marketing sites today show prices ranging from just under $200 to a little over $250 for new 30 lb. containers. You could also just call one of your local HVAC contractors as they use R-22 all the time. I am sorry for the recent loss of your husband. I hope this information helps you in some way.

    • we had a 1986 lennox ac with r-22 freon and made our house freezing in the summer. It worked great for years until 2007. we got a new one and it ran on r410a but broke down in august 2013, so now we have a 3 ton goodman ac and works real good

    • BIG COMPANIES LIKE TOSHIBA ARE STILL ADVERTISING AND SELLING NEW R22 AC SYSTEMS IN BIG NUMBERS, WHAT MIGHT BE THE REASON BEHIND IF THEY KNOW R410 SYSTEM IS MORE EFFICIENT AND GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

      • According to the Montreal Protocol, R22 systems can still be sold in developing countries and only developed countries are restricted from selling new R22 systems. Also, R410A systems are not necessarily more efficient, because the refrigerant is only one factor in determining the system efficiency. Other components can be changed to hit a certain level of efficiency so it is important to read the SEER labels on the equipment and not just the refrigerant. R22 was banned to prevent further deterioration of the Ozone layer. You can find more information on the following link.

        http://www.unep.org/ozonaction/Topics/HCFCHelpCentre/HCFC_FAQs/tabid/52078/Default.aspx

        • Deterioration of the Ozone layer is supposed to bring about the next ice age. Maybe we should be using R22 to combat Global Warming.

          • Global warming causes the ice caps to add water changing the salt percentage that stops the circulation of the oean currents that would cause a frozen ocean and land mass in tropics. So don’t use R-22.

        • Proudly use R-421 or R-422 to replace R22 in older R-22 units and get years more life out of them… I have seen 30 plus year old R-22 units still cranking out the cold…

          I have also seen new R-410a units with burnt up Scroll Compressors (Not a Scroll Compressor Fan, don’t think much of them) These newer units were less than 5 years old… A lot of them. Of course the HVAC companies love the new R 410a units and dislike the old R-22 systems and so does the government, because every time you buy something new you have to pay TAXES on it and the HVAC companies make big bucks on systems that frequently go down…

          R-410a systems may save you in electric cost but my experience with them is, they cost you more in Tech Service, so you may or may-not save anything. Unfortunately the Government is forcing you into R-410a by making R-22 parts unavailable soon. But if you upgrade your R22 systems by inspecting the systems and diagnosing any parts that look like they may be going to fail …E-Bay is a great place to find parts

    • I had r22 coils installed on my furnace 15 years ago, hoping to get central ac someday. Can r410a be used with these coils?

      • Hi Frank – I might have responded to one of your other posts recently but in case this is a different question here is a little more info.

        Outdoor units (and compressors) are designed for a specific refrigerant and are designed to be matched with indoor coils and metering devices that are designed for that same refrigerant. From 2006 to 2010 some coil manufacturers and OEM’s designed their R22 indoor coils to also be compatible with R-410A but for these, the metering device (e.g. expansion valve) would need to be changed to work with R-410A. So, it is possible that your indoor coil could be used with a new R410A outdoor unit with new lines but you would need to have a contractor do some work to retrofit the old coils. I would suggest you get 2-3 other contractors or contact the system OEM to advise you on this matter to make sure your coil is suitable for R-410A. I hope this answers your question.

      • Generally new R410 coils designed for higher pressures indicate on the specifications suitable for R22 lower pressures. However using a coild designed for R22 never intended for those much higher pressures is a big gamble for the homeowner. But for a Tech like myself if its new and I can size match it, Id go for it since all Id have to do is pull it out anyway.

    • I had a new Lennox 2 ton acx installed on 6/30/2016, r410 is the refrigerant. The replaced system was an R22, 23 years old. The new system is quieter than the r22 was and pushes colder air into the home in less time. Very, very satisfied!

      • Hi Barney, Residential air conditioning systems are complex systems and several factors go into their proper operation and performance. Some of the important aspects that your contractor will ensure is that the system is sized right for your home, properly installed and commissioned. When changing over a system from R22 to R410A the system selection, installation and commissioning process becomes more complex. Manufacturers recommend specific procedures for transitioning from R22 with R410A. Any missteps could also cause system performance degradation. It is important that you hire a reputable contractor who will understand your needs and ensure good transition from R22 to R410A. R410A is an efficient refrigerant with equal or better thermal properties when compared to R22.

    • What will happen if I accidentally charged an R410a system with AZ20,… The unit ran for about 4 minutes before I realized it was AZ20 … I immediately pulled the disconnect and dumped the charger. All the supply houses are closed for the day, so will everything be okay of i return tomorrow and pull an extra long vacuum and charge the unit with the correct, R410a gas?

    • No way does a 410aunit cool as good as a 22 unit. My new unit in lake house takes hours to drop temp. 5deg. and the old 22 unit will drop 5deg in 30 min. and house is twice as big.

    • r 22 was simple 410 is more complicated because it is a blend every time things are complicated more problems are created .for one if you have small leak in R 22 you can simply add a little bit R 22 and you are good to go , not so with 410 a leak means replacing all refrigerant and that means vacuuming system and that means more time labor and cost REPLACING 6 POUNDS OF 410 CAN COST MORE THAN SIMPLY ADDING A POUND OF R 22

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