You probably don't put too much thought into the refrigerant in your air conditioner. However, times are starting to shift and new refrigerants are entering the market. Not only are new refrigerants entering the market, but some old stand bys are becoming obsolete. It's important to know which you are using and what upgrades will be necessary to make your air conditioner system as efficient as possible.
R-22 is commonly known as Freon. This gas is the most efficient at cooling but has chlorine added to it which depletes the ozone. This refrigerant has been an industry standard but has recently fallen out of favor due to its ozone depleting properties. In fact, no new air conditioning units will be manufactured using R-22 as of 2010. If your air conditioner was produced before 2010, there's a good chance it uses R-22. However, while it used to be the standard, there is now a limited amount of R-22 on the market with the price gradually rising.
You can still opt to use R-22 in a new air conditioner unit for the time being, but only if your unit arrives as a dry charge unit. Your air conditioner would be empty upon arrival and would have to be filled with R-22 by an approved technician.
R-410A, or Puron, is considered to be the new industry standard for air conditioner refrigerants. This refrigerant doesn't have the same ozone-depleting properties as R-22, making it a safer choice for the environment. It is also considered to be more energy efficient than R-22. Even though R-410A operates at higher pressure than R-22, it reduces the risk of compressor burnout because it retains and releases heat easier than R-22.
Can You Change The Refrigerant in Your AC?
The short answer is yes. You can make the swap in your air conditioner between R-22 to R-410A. However, it isn't as simple as filling your system with the R-410A. Instead, you have to replace any parts that came in contact with the R-22. This list usually includes your compressor and all tubing in the unit. This is because R-410A operates at a higher pressure than R-22 and simply switching them out will severely damage your air conditioner.
If you're considering updating the refrigerant in your air conditioner you should contact an HVAC repair specialist. Due to the pressures involved, this is a job best performed by a professional, like one from D & R Service Inc.