A key part of a heating and air conditioning system is the refrigerant within it. Refrigerant is a substance that is used in order to maximize the efficiency of the system. A frequent point of discussion regarding refrigerants is deciding between the two most popular options—R-410A and R-22. The best thing you can do in deciding between the two options is learning the facts of each and deciding which would be best for your heating and air conditioning system and your home.
The Difference In Performance
It is important to know that new air conditioning systems are specifically designed to run with R-410A. R-22 was discontinued in 2010 and therefore should not be used in any new systems. So although it is still allowed for use in older systems, if you install a new system, you will need R-410A. R-22 is often associated with lower efficiency systems and is actually a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon, which contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
New air conditioning and heating systems have been designed to run using R-410A for efficient operation that is not as harmful to the environment. R-22 is not capable of absorbing and releasing heat the way that R-410A can. This function of R-410A allows the compressor to run cooler and reduces the potential risk of burning out.
R-22 runs at lower pressure than the higher-pressure system R-410A is intended for, and new systems have been designed in conjunction with this new refrigerant to accommodate that pressure. A new compressor is capable of enduring greater stress to reduce the risk of cracking. Putting R-410A into an older system that was originally used with R-22 would result in an overload of pressure and the system would most likely break.
Another important part of the air conditioning system is the lubrication of the compressor. R-410A air conditioners operate with synthetic oil for compressor lubrication and R-22 air conditioners use mineral oil. Because synthetic oil runs with greater efficiency when paired with R-410A, this refrigerant allows for its system to operate more resourcefully and reduce the amount of deterioration. R-22 does not work as efficiently with mineral oil
An Alternative Option
When R-22 was discontinued, some companies put a spin on this situation by creating what is known as “dry charge” units. These units are built without the refrigerant. It is required for a technician to come and manually install the R-22, since the factory is unable to do so with a discontinued product. Although this way of going about things might seem “shady,” it is actually legal. However, you might be doing yourself a disservice in the long run as there will come a day when you are no longer able to get R-22 when it runs out and R-410A systems do offer a higher efficiency level and will help you save money on energy costs.
Now that you have the basic facts of each refrigerant, you can assess which is best for your current system and what to expect when purchasing a new system as R-22 is eventually going to be a refrigerant of the past and R-410A takes its place.