A very hot topic in the HVAC world right now is the difference between the R-22 and R410A refrigerants.
- Usually referred to by the brand name Freon
- R-22 was outlawed for use in new units as of 2010
- R-22 is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) which contributes to the depletion of the ozone
- Usually referred to by the brand name Puron
- Is approved for use in new residential air conditioning units
- R-410A is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) which does not harm the ozone
- R-410A will become the new standard for A/C systems in the US starting in 2015
Newer air conditioners are built to be used with R-410A for more efficient operation. It can absorb and release more heat than R-22, meaning your compressor can run cooler, reducing the compressors chances of overheating and burning out. R-410A also works at a higher pressure than the R-22. The new compressors are designed to withstand greater stress, reducing the chance of cracking. Also, compressors need oil to keep them lubricated during operation. Units using R-22 use mineral oil, while units using R-410A use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is more soluble with the R-410A than the R-22 is with the mineral oil, which means the R-410A is operating more efficiently, reducing the wear and tear on the compressor.