You may know that air conditioners need refrigerant to make cool air, and you may know that this is sometimes called freon. It’s actually known as R22, and the name “Freon” comes from DuPont’s name for R22. Freon is considered a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), which contributes to ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. Since 2010, new air conditioners have been manufactured with new standardized R410A, also known as Puron.
What does this mean?
It means, hopefully, better news for the environment, for one. R410A does not contain chlorine (and instead has fluoride), which will reduce the damage to the ozone if let into the atmosphere. R410A systems will also use less power, overall reducing the environmental footprint as compared to R22 devices.
It also means that anyone who is using an old system that utilizes R22 will need to have the equipment upgraded or retrofitted to use R410A. You cannot simply replace R22 with R410A, as R410A uses higher operating temperatures than R22.
When with R22 be phased out?
R22 is gradually being phased out, and as of January 1st, 2020, R22 will be illegal to be produced or imported in the United States.
How can I tell if my AC uses R22?
This should be as simple as inspecting the manufacturer’s plate on the side of your unit. Clearly marked in large letters should be what type of refrigerant your AC uses. If it says HCFC-22, it’s referring to R22. If it says HFC-410A, it’s referring to R410A.
Equipment produced before 1996 will definitely be using R22. Equipment produced after 1996 but before 2010 could be either R410A or R22. Most equipment made after 2010, such as window units, utilizes R410A rather than R22, so if you have a newer system, you may be just fine. Make sure to check, though! If you need a cooling system upgrade or retrofit, give us a call!