The Difference Between R22 and R410A Refrigerant

air conditioner technician explaining the difference between HVAC refrigerants

When you choose your air conditioning unit, one of the important aspects will be what type of refrigerant it uses. The main two will be R-22 and R-410A which are also known as Freon and Puron respectively. The two types of refrigerants are not interchangeable within a system, so you want to ensure you choose the right one before purchasing your system. There are some other very important differences between the two refrigerants.

R22 Properties

R-22 is often referred to as Freon, which is actually one of the top brands. R-22 is no longer used for installing new ac systems as it was discontinued in 2010 due to it being a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). It has been shown to contribute to ozone depletion. Therefore, most likely if you have a new system, you will not use R22 or Freon; however, when doing ac repair to older systems, you should check what you use. One thing to note about R-22 is that in addition to its damage to the environment, because it is discontinued, supplies are limited.

R-410A Properties

R-410A is often referred to as Puron, the main brand name associated with this type of refrigerant. It is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) which does not hurt the ozone layer. Therefore, it is approved for new residential air conditioners and is on its way to becoming the standard in the U.S. by 2015. Most new air conditioning units automatically use R-410A, although you should still check before making the final purchase. If you have a relatively new unit that is older than 2010, you should check to see whether it uses R-22 or R-410A.

Difference in Performance

R-410A is not only better for the ozone layer; it also provides a better overall operation. It absorbs and releases the heat better than R-22, making your compressor run cooler so that it does not overheat. Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily. Systems that use R-410A also use synthetic oil for lubrication, rather than mineral oil like in R-22 systems. The synthetic oil is more soluble, making the whole system more efficient. Therefore, R-410A works better than R-22 and has more efficient systems.

Dry Charging

With the outlaw of R-22 in new units, some companies have found ways to continue to use R-22 in new systems by producing dry charging units. These are units without the refrigerant installed at the factory. A technician must come to your home to charge your unit. Although thus far it is legal, it is sometimes not the best choice for your home. For one, R-22 supplies are decreasing, which will raise the price in the future and make it harder to find the refrigerant. Additionally, R-410A is better for the environment and the units are more efficient, saving you money. Dry charge units do not have a very long warranty.

When it comes to deciding between Freon and Puron, it is not a very difficult decision. The HVAC industry and regulations have more or less made the decision for you. R-410A is the better of the two, both for an efficient system and for helping the environment. When you go to purchase a new system, make sure you get one with R-410A rather than a dry charging system.

Feel free to call us with any questions. If you think your system is low on Freon or Puron, we can send a technician to check it and get your system cooling efficiently again.