It’s a hot topic in the air conditioning and heating industry (pun well intended): What is R-22? What is R-410A? Do you mean R2-D2? No, we’re not talking about the infamous fictional robot from Star Wars. We’re talking about something even cooler: refrigerants. To make the best heating and cooling decisions, it’s important to know the differences between refrigerants R-22 and R-410A.
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- Often referred to by a brand name like “Freon”
- Discontinued for use in new AC systems in 2010
- Is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which contributes to ozone depletion
- Often referred to by a brand name like “Puron”
- Approved for use in new residential air conditioners
- Is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC), which does not contribute to ozone depletion
R-410A functions at a higher pressure than R-22, so new compressors are built to withstand greater stresses.
All air conditioners use an oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation. R-22 systems use mineral oil and R-410A systems use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is generally more soluble with R-410A than mineral oil is with R-22. This means the R-410A system operates more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.
Ever heard of a dry charged unit? Here’s why you should avoid it.
Some companies took advantage of the 2010 law that banned R-22 from new units by producing “dry charged” units. Dry charge units bypass the 2010 law, because new units are created without refrigerants and R-22 is installed later in the process.
Reasons to avoid dry charge units:
- As limited supplies of R-22 diminish, prices increase
- Lower efficiency means higher energy costs
- Dry charge units are not good for our environment
- They offer much shorter warranty periods
R-410A has become the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems. Newer AC models are designed to be used with R-410A for reliable and more efficient operation.