Telling the Difference between R410A and R22 Refrigerants

In the refrigerant market, R410A is the latest buzz. According to authorities and regulators in the field, by the year 2020, this refrigerant will be the most used because R22 is slowly being phased out. R410A has a great number of advantages hence its growing popularity.

Homeowners considering equipment purchase should understand the difference there is between these two refrigerants to help them in making the best decision for their systems. Below are some of the notable differences.

Brand Name and Continued Use

R22 carries the brand name Freon while R410A is known by the name Puron. As of 2010, the R22 refrigerant was officially discontinued and henceforth it was not meant to be used in new AC systems. This meant that HVAC manufacturers had to abandon the manufacture of AC systems that used R22. On the other hand, these manufacturers were instructed to switch to R410A. This explains why new AC systems non longer use R22 as a refrigerant.

Environmental Friendliness

R22 is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). This has been found to be a major contributor to ozone depletion. R410A is a hydro-fluorocarbon which is environmentally friendly. At a time when climate change and global warming are serious national and international policies, the continued use of R22 is considered a step backwards.

Performance Differences

The newer AC models that are designed to run on R410A are more reliable and efficient in the operations. This is because the R410A refrigerant absorbs and releases a considerable amount of heat compared to R22. This means your AC compressor can run cooler hence reducing the risk of overheating and compressor burn out.

In terms of stress and the risk for cracking, R410A functions at a much higher pressure compared to R22 thereby enabling new compressors to withstand stress and shock. If you put R410A refrigerant into a system that is designed to accommodate R22, the pressure would be so much that the unit may even break.


All ACs use oil to keep the compressor lubricated throughout its operation. ACs running on R22 use mineral oil while those on R410A use synthetic oils. Compared to mineral oil, synthetic oil is much more soluble which means your AC system will operate more efficiently thus reducing the wear and tear that the compressor is exposed to.

Dry Charging

While the R22 refrigerant was outlawed back in 2010, some companies are taking advantage of the registration to produce what is commonly known as dry charge units. These are units that are produced without the R22 refrigerant installed at the manufacturing unit or factory. Instead, a HVAC technician comes to your home to have the refrigerant installed. This practice is considered technically legal, but it has its downside.

The supply of R22 is limited and its price would go up as soon as the existing supplies are depleted. R410A is the go-to refrigerant because it saves you in term of energy cost and it produces negligible sound during operation.

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