Can R-22 systems just use 410A?
Unfortunately, no. These refrigerants are incompatible, meaning that if you don’t upgrade your system, you can’t use 410A.
What are the brand names for each of these refrigerants that I may have heard?
R-22 often goes by the name Freon.
Less well-known, 410A is sold under the names Puron, Genetron AZ20, and Klea 66.
How does R-22 hurt the environment?
R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (hcfc) which destroys the ozone layer. Essentially, this is the same stuff you’d find in the ‘80s hairspray that put a whole in the ozone.
How will the phaseout affect me if I own a R-22 system?
It depends on the age of your system. The government will never go to your home and confiscate your system, and using R-22 isn’t banned—just the production of it.
However, as R-22 becomes scarcer, having maintenance done on R-22 systems will become extremely expensive. That means for really old systems, switching to 410A is an immediate need, while newer R-22 systems can hold out a little longer.
Will I eventually need to upgrade to 410A no matter what?
Yes. Eventually all stockpiles of R-22 will run out, and no HVAC companies will not be able to service R-22 systems.
Which refrigerant is more effective at keeping my house cool?
410A performs better. Plus, almost any new A/C system is guaranteed to be an upgrade as far as comfort and energy efficiency are concerned.
When should I upgrade to 410A?
Again, it depends on the age of your system. Older systems need to be upgraded ASAP before repairs become overwhelming.
However if your R-22 systems can hold out a few more years, you have ample time to save up.