AC Refrigerants Are Not All the Same. Which Should You Use?

AC refrigerantsThe refrigerant within your air conditioning coils is the chemical that cools and dehumidifies your indoor air. R-22 was the standard refrigerant for decades. However, in 2015, R-410A became the new standard for air conditioners in the United States. So what’s the difference between these two AC refrigerants? Let’s explore what each one has to offer.

Impact on the Ozone Layer

R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Chlorine, which is a component of HCFC refrigerants, damages the ozone layer. R-410A was developed as an environmentally friendly alternative. It doesn’t contain chlorine, so it’s not destructive to the ozone layer.

Heat Transfer

The R-410A refrigerant absorbs and releases more heat than R-22. This means that an AC compressor using R-410A can run cooler, lowering the risk of burnout from overheating.

Oil Differences

Air conditioners use oil to keep their compressors lubricated. R-410A air conditioners use synthetic oil, whereas R-22 systems utilize mineral oil. Generally, the synthetic oil in R-410A has greater solubility than the mineral oil in R-22. That implies that R-410A systems operate more efficiently, and their compressors suffer less wear and tear.

Which AC Refrigerant Should You Use?

As you may have noticed, the newer AC models using R-410A provide more efficient and reliable operation. After the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started phasing out R-22 in 2010, HVAC manufacturers started redesigning their heat pumps and AC equipment to accommodate the chlorine-free R-410A refrigerant.

The EPA banned the production and importation of R-22 as of Jan. 1. You can continue using your R-22 air conditioner, but you’ll encounter difficulties when it requires a refrigerant recharge. You’ll have to rely on reclaimed R-22 refrigerant or stockpiles, which are likely to be expensive. And you know what? R-22 prices will keep increasing as supplies decrease.

By replacing your aging heat pump or AC system with an R-410A system, you’ll be investing in a chlorine-free refrigerant that’s better for the environment. What’s more, this AC refrigerant offers better efficiency, helping you save on energy costs. To get the best air conditioning replacement, maintenance, or repair services in Palm Beach, Indian River, St. Lucie, or Martin counties, contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

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