What’s the Difference Between R-22 and R-410A and How Does It Affect Florida Homeowners?

The Difference Between R-22 and R-410A

Remember the HVAC acronym soup we were talking about a while ago? Well, here are two more ingredients: the refrigerants R-22 and R-410A. Refrigerant is the stuff that carries heat from inside your house outside, letting your A/C keep your home cool. But what’s the difference between R-22 and R-410A?

R-22 was the industry standard refrigerant for quite some time. In fact, if you had your home’s air conditioner installed before 2010, there’s a pretty good chance that R-22 is what’s in your system now. But in 2010, R-22 was discontinued: it can no longer be used in new air conditioners.

There are a couple of good things that came out of this change. For one thing, R-22 was a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which meant that it was not good for the ozone layer. R-410A is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) and is ozone-safe. Also, R-410A, which will become the official standard for A/C units in 2015, can carry more heat than R-22 could, which means the A/C as a whole can run cooler. This reduces your risk of compressor burnout. So not only is it better for the environment, it’s better for your A/C maintenance schedule!

Unfortunately, you can’t just drain your old R-22 out and replace it with R-410A. That’s because another difference between R-22 and R-410A is that R-410A operates at a higher pressure than R-22. If you put R-410A in a system designed for R-22, the system wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure, and it could rupture or break!

So, if you’re looking to upgrade your home’s air conditioner, a system that uses R-410A will be your first stop. And it’s worth noting that as R-22 systems phase out of use, the supply of that old refrigerant will dry up too and get more and more expensive if you need it replaced.

If you’ve got any questions about how the refrigerant phaseout will affect you as a Florida homeowner, or about the difference between R-22 and R-410A, call us at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning!

Image via Shutterstock.com

Posted in Air Conditioning
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