Switching R-22 to R-410A Refrigerant

Switching from R-22 to R-410A Refrigerant

Today, almost every modern air conditioning system purchased in the United States is outfitted with R-410A refrigerant. For those of you who aren’t aware, R-22 was used in most A/C systems worldwide for decades until an international agreement was reached through The Montreal Protocol. The approved replacement refrigerant for R-22 is R-410A. Beginning on January 1, 2004 the systematic removal of R-22 began in the United States. By 2020 chemical manufacturers must completely stop the production of the R-22 refrigerant and the U.S. must decrease its use of R-22 type refrigerant by 99.5%.

What you should know:

  • R-22 was found to be hazardous to the earth’s ozone layer because of environmentally unfriendly hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
  • Every new home air conditioner sold in the United States is designed to handle the R-410A type of refrigerant.
  • Air conditioning systems that utilize the new R-410A refrigerant operate at a significantly higher pressure than those that operate with the intent of using R-22. This means units currently operating with R-22 will not be able to be charged with R-410a. Once an R-22 system reaches the end of its service life, it must be replaced with a new R-410A system.
  • Newer A/C systems designed to handle the R-410A remove heat more efficiently than the old R-22 systems. In turn, AC compressors will last longer because of the reduction in heat which is good news because the compressor is usually the most expensive part of the air conditioning system to have repaired or replaced.
  •  The R-22 type refrigerant can still be recycled and reused in systems that are currently operating with R-22.
  • As the supply of R-22 slowly decreases, demand is increasing and prices for R-22 will drastically rise.

What should you do? If your comfort system is currently running on R-22 and you aren’t experiencing any problems, there really isn’t anything to be alarmed about. However, if your system is aging and it still utilizes R-22, it may be more feasible in the long to run to go ahead and replace your current system. As the cost of R-22 rises 3 to 4 times more than R-410A, a simple system recharge will be significantly higher than that of a newer system. If your older R-22 system needs to be inspected or recharged in the near future, ask the technician what the expected life expectancy is for the unit. If you expect the unit to fail in the next few years, it is a good idea to consider replacing the unit. A new unit won’t call for frequent repairs and you will save yourself three to four times more in parts during your system tune-ups. If you would like direction on how to handle the change from R-22 to R-410A, please feel free to Contact Us at Charlotte Comfort Systems-704-366-1661.