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R-22 and R-410a: What’s the Difference?


If the air conditioner in your Sarasota, Florida, home uses R-22 refrigerant, you should know about its environmentally friendly replacement, R410a. Due to its ozone-depleting properties, R-22 is no longer being used in air conditioning equipment, and newer air units are using R-410a as a refrigerant.

What Is R-22?

R-22 is a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners. A hydrochlorofluorocarbon, or HCFC, R-22 depletes the ozone layer. As a result of this destructive property, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed itself to phasing out R-22 use.

Manufacturers can no longer sell new air conditioning units with R-22. Importing and producing R-22 in the United States will also decrease each year going forward until 2020, the year R-22 imports and production in the United States will end.

What Is R-410A?

Known as R-410A, this refrigerant is a popular alternative to R-22. An environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-410A does not release HCFCs into the atmosphere. Since R-410A requires a higher operating pressure than other refrigerants, an air conditioning unit with R-410A uses different parts than a R-22 unit.

Using R-410A allows an air conditioner to draw less power, which allows the unit to reach a higher operating efficiency.

What Does This Switch Mean for Homeowners?

If your current air conditioning unit uses R-22, you can still have it serviced and maintained. However, in the future, the price of R-22 will likely increase along with its availability, making it more difficult to maintain your unit.

Retrofitting an R-22 air conditioner to using R-410a can be completed, but because of its higher pressure, a professional needs to replace both the unit’s condenser and system coil, which usually isn’t cost effective.

To prepare for total phaseout of R-22, you’ll need to soon think about replacing your air conditioner with a new unit designed for use with R-410a. This switch is especially important if your current unit needs replacement or is nearing the end of its useful life.

At Climatic Conditioning, we’ve repaired, maintained, and installed air conditioners in the Sarasota, Florida, area for more than 40 years. To discuss replacing your R-22 air conditioner with an environmentally friendly R-410a unit, call us at (941) 304-4722.

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