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Comparing R22 and 410a Refrigerant; What You Need To Know

Comparing R22 with 410a Refrigerant

My Air Conditioner Uses R22 Refrigerant, Can I Top It Off With R410a?

rheem_Split_AC_System-250The two refrigerants are completely incompatible. It would be the equivalent of topping a car off with synthetic oil when it uses regular motor oil. The two can not be mixed without causing severe damage to your air conditioner or heat pump.

All air conditioners use an oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation. R22 air conditioners use mineral oil and R410A systems use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil is generally more soluble with R410A than mineral oil is with R22. This means the R-410A system operates more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.

In the past, having a Freon leak in your air conditioner wouldn’t be that expensive, but that was  before the prices of R22 Freon went through the roof. At around $75.00-$100.00 a pound of R22 and the average fill up being around 2-5 lbs, topping-off an air conditioner with a Freon leak is now a very expensive option.

Freon leaks only become worse over time and the cause of the leak needs to be addressed before it damages your air conditioner or heat pump. Refrigerant doesn’t dissipate or break down over time and heavy use. Air conditioners and heat pumps, like refrigerators, use a sealed system. If you are low on refrigerant, it is because you have a leak in your air conditioning or heat pump system.

Why is R22 Refrigerant So Expensive?

R22 is a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion. R22 is known as a global warming gas. U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of this material by imposing strict quotas on its production.

R22 Vs R410a Refrigerant; What You Need To Know:

R22 refrigerant:

As of 2010 is no longer allowed to be used in newly-manufactured air conditioners
Contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer
Is less capable of absorbing and releasing heat than R410a refrigerant, making it the less efficient refrigerant
Is becoming more and more expensive as its use is phased out

R410a refrigerant:

Is approved for use in all newly-manufactured air conditioners
Does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer
Is better at absorbing and releasing heat than R22 refrigerant, making it more efficient to use
Requires the use of tougher and more durable air conditioner parts, which reduces the risk of your system overheating and breaking down
Less expensive