Since 1992, a major shift in the air conditioning industry has been underway. R22 refrigerant (often called by its brand name Freon) has been being phased out by a new type of refrigerant: R410a (often called by its brand name Puron). So, what does this mean for homeowners who are repairing or replacing their air conditioners? Let’s dig in to better understand AC refrigerant changes.
R22 has been the standard refrigerant used in air conditioners for many years. The problem with this refrigerant is that it is both less efficient and less environmentally friendly than R410a refrigerant. The government-mandated shift away from R22 refrigerant is an attempt to make homes more efficient and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses into the environment.
- As of 2010 is no longer allowed to be used in newly-manufactured air conditioners
- Contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer
- Is less capable of absorbing and releasing heat than R410a refrigerant, making it the less efficient refrigerant
- Is becoming more and more expensive as its use is phased out
- Is approved for use in all newly-manufactured air conditioners
- Does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer
- Is better at absorbing and releasing heat than R22, making it more efficient to use
- Requires the use of tougher and more durable air conditioner parts, which reduces the risk of your system overheating and breaking down
So, what does this mean for people looking to repair or replace their AC system? Although R22 refrigerant is still available to replenish older systems that have refrigerant leaks, the cost of that repair is on the rise. If you repair your system, you need to replace the dryer filter and purge the system. Because R410a refrigerant requires different air conditioner components than R22, you cannot replenish a system that uses R22 refrigerant with R410a refrigerant.
In order to reap the efficiency, performance, and environmental benefits of R410a refrigerant, you need to install a new system that uses the refrigerant. If your air conditioner is nearing the end of its operating life, replace your system sooner rather than later to avoid the rising costs of repairing a refrigerant leak with R22 refrigerant.
This information will help you repair or replace your air conditioner with efficiency and environmental benefits in mind.
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