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What the Difference Between R-22 and R-410A Refrigerants?

Most people have an air condition or HVAC system in their homes, but chances are most people also don't know a lot about how they work. You turn the thermostat up to get warm, or down to get cool, and that's all the more thought you want to give it, right? But sometimes something comes up that requires you to pay a little more attention to your HVAC system than you do on a day-to-day basis, such as the need to switch out refrigerants under new environmental guidelines. You can always call your local Olathe heating and cooling specialists for help, but here are a few facts about the difference between R-22 and R-410A refrigerants.

Most air conditioning systems use a refrigerant—usually a fluid that transitions from liquid to gas and back again. Unfortunately, most of the old standards for refrigerants produce dangerous greenhouse gases that are being phased out under the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act was originally passed into law in 1963, but has been amended several times since then to account for new data about air quality and pollution, including major amendments in 1970, 1977, and 1990.

Previously, a chlorodifluoromethane called R-22 was the industry standard for air conditioner refrigerants. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was an agreement signed in 1987 to place a ban on the production or import of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Initially targeting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), it was expanded in 1992 to also include hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), including R-22. While HCFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer than CFCs, they still contain dangerous ozone-depleting chlorine.

Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the United States agreed to reduce its nationwide HCFC consumption to 75% below the U.S. baseline by 2010, and 90% below the U.S. baseline by 2015. Part of this process includes phasing out the manufacture and installation of air conditioning systems using R-22, and replacing them with systems using R-410A, a chlorine-free refrigerant that is considered ozone-friendly by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Being ozone-friendly isn't the end of the benefits of R-410A systems. They can run more efficiently than R-22 systems, and are also considered more reliable, quieter, and better for dehumidification. As R-22 is phased out under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, it will become more difficult to get, and switchover to the R-410A refrigerant will become necessary. By 2020, the manufacture of R-22 will no longer be allowed in the United States, even to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.

If you're ready to switch over to R-410A or install a new air conditioner or HVAC system in your home, call your Olathe heating and cooling experts at Davenport Services today. We can help you find the system that's right for you, and install it quickly, safely, and affordably. We also offer refrigerant changes from R-22 to R-410A, so you can keep your air conditioning system efficient while also protecting the environment!

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