For years, R22 air conditioning refrigerant has been used in air conditioners and heat pump systems. Now, as more and more people are becoming concerned about the depletion of the ozone layer, this refrigerant is being phased out. Its replacement in most systems is R410-A, which has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as a safe alternative.
What does this mean for homeowners? Don’t assume that you can simply replace R22 with the new alternative. Here are a few facts you should know about air conditioning refrigerant:
- If your existing unit uses R22 refrigerant, you can continue to use it. However, it is likely that the price will increase, as manufacturing of R22 will be limited as old equipment is phased out.
- You may consider a retrofit, which is allowed by the EPA, but consider that the oils in R22 and R410-A are incompatible. That means your current cooling system should be thoroughly cleaned before it’s charged with R410-A.
- Cooling systems that rely on an air conditioning refrigerant such as R410-A have been redesigned and incorporate compressors and other components designed solely for use with these replacement refrigerants.
- If you cannot afford to have a new system installed or want to use your R22 system until it’s time for replacement, take measures to ensure that there are no leaks and that your system is serviced annually. Your system can last for many years with proper checks and servicing.
- Genetron AZ-20, Suva 410A, Puron and Forane 410A are some of the brands of R-410A refrigerant available today.
Knowing about changes in refrigerants can help you help maintain a healthy, safe environment. Questions? Contact us. We’re always happy to help. For over 75 years T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating has been providing customers with high-quality and dependable heating and cooling services in Long Island.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioning and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.