R-410A is the new chemical cooling compound created to replace R-22 in air conditioners and heat pumps.
R-410A refrigerant is a blend of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) compounds R-32 and R-125. It is non-toxic, non-flammable, and has been used as a replacement for R-22 (commonly known as Freon). The use of R-22 in the manufacture of new air conditioning units has been prohibited in the United States as well as the European Union since January 1st, 2010.
Other differences include that R-410A refrigerant operates at higher pressures than R-22 and can absorb more heat from the air inside your home, resulting in higher energy efficiency ratings for air conditioners that use it. But this also means that systems reliant on R-22 are generally not compatible with R-410A.
R-410A refrigerant interacts differently with your air conditioner than R-22. R-410A needs to be charged into the system at a pressure much higher than R-22 in order to achieve optimal performance. Additionally, because R-410A has a higher pressure, it can increase the stress on air conditioner components like compressors, valves, and hoses. R-410A also requires different tools and materials for installation than R-22.
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It is now R-410A’s turn to be phased out in favor of newer refrigerants that are more environmentally friendly. R-410A has been found to have a significant global warming potential (GWP), meaning that it contributes to climate change more than other compounds. Additionally, because R-410A operates at such high pressures, there is an increased risk of leaks during maintenance and repair work which can harm the environment.
The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase down the production and consumption of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), including R-410A. This phasedown begins in 2022 with a 90% production allowance (meaning businesses must reduce HFC-derived CO2 emissions to 90% of baseline values) that drops to 15% by 2036 and beyond.
Available alternative refrigerants have a much lower GWP than R-410A and include hydrofluoroolefins, hydrocarbons such as R-290 and R-600a, and carbon dioxide (R-744).
Check out our resources guide, or contact a local technician to learn more about refrigeration and other HVAC topics.
R22 is a chemical cooling compound used in older air conditioners and heat pumps. It is currently being phased out of production and use due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer when released into the air.
Refrigerant is a chemical cooling compound that absorbs and releases heat at different points in the heat exchange cycle as it runs throughout an HVAC system.
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