Ever since the 1992 revision to the Montreal Protocol a major shift in the air conditioning industry has been underway. R22 refrigerant (also known by its brand name, Freon) has been in the process of being phased out in favor of a new type of refrigerant: R410a (often called by its brand name, Puron). The phase out of R22 refrigerant has huge implications for Sioux Falls area homeowners who are facing repairs or the prospect of replacing their air conditioner or heat pump in the near future.

In today’s blog post we are going to talk about the difference between R22 and R410a refrigerant and how each will affect your home’s cooling and/or heating system.

Why has there been a shift from R22 to R410a?
R22 has been the standard refrigerant used in air conditioners for decades. The problem with R22 is that it is both less efficient and less environmentally friendly than R410a refrigerant. The government-mandated shift away from R22 refrigerant is an attempt to make homes more efficient as well as reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses into the environment which depletes the ozone.

Which refrigerant is better: R22 or R410a?
The thing with R22 is that the governments goal is to get everyone’s old R22 systems replaced with R410a. However, laws aside, which of the two refrigerant options is actually a better option for homeowners?

R22 refrigerant:

  • As of 2010 R22 is no longer allowed to be used in the manufacture of new air conditioners or heat pumps
  • As of 2010 R22 has been completely banned from production and importation
  • R22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer
  • R22 is less capable of absorbing and releasing heat than R410a refrigerant, making it less energy efficient
  • R22 is becoming more and more expensive as the remaining supply is depleted and it is phased out altogether

R410a refrigerant:

  • R410a is approved for use in all newly-manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps
  • R410a does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer
  • R410a is better at absorbing and releasing heat than R22, making it more energy efficient to use
  • R410a requires the use of tougher and more durable air conditioner parts, which reduces the risk of your system overheating and breaking down

It’s not hard to see why R410a is a substantially better refrigerant for your Sioux Falls area home.

What Does This Mean for Sioux Falls Area Homeowners?
Although R22 refrigerant is still available to replenish older systems that have refrigerant leaks, the cost of that repair has risen substantially over the past several years. Since R410a refrigerant requires different air conditioner components than R22, you cannot replenish a system that uses R22 refrigerant with R410a refrigerant and it is potentially dangerous to mix the two refrigerants.

In order to enjoy the benefits of R410a’s efficiency and performance you will need to install a new system that is designed to use the refrigerant. If your air conditioner is nearing the end of it’s lifespan, the benefits of R410a refrigerant may be a good reason to replace your system sooner rather than later so that you can avoid the rising costs of repairing refrigerant leaks with R22 refrigerant.

Call Golden Rule Service Heating & Cooling for All Your Refrigerant Needs

If you have any other questions about R22 and R410a refrigerant, or if you’d like a cooling system to be serviced or installed in your South Dakota home, contact Golden Rule, your Sioux Falls area air conditioning contractor. We service the greater Sioux Falls area, including towns like Brandon, Tea, and Harrisburg.