tune up
Posted on January 24, 2017

Until 2010, Freon, or R-22, was the most frequently used refrigerant in air conditioners and heat pumps. Because R-22 causes ozone depletion, the Environmental Protection Agency required manufacturers to phase out its use. In 2015, R-410A, also known as Puron, became the standard refrigerant used. If you’re like many Amarillo homeowners, you’re wondering whether you can switch from Freon to Puron in your AC system. The answer is yes and no.

You cannot just switch refrigerants because R410-A and R-22 have different chemical properties. R410-A operates at a higher pressure. If you put R410-A into an R-22 system, the parts will rupture due to the increased force.

You can convert your current system to one that runs on R-410A, but the cost will be high. You’ll need to replace the compressor, condenser and evaporator, and probably the refrigerant tubing, with equipment that can handle R410-A. It would be more cost effective to put that money toward a new system designed for R410-A.

Advantages of Puron

Because R-410A absorbs and releases more heat than R-22, your compressor can operate at a cooler temperature. A cooler temperature reduces overheating and your risk of compressor burnout.

AC units need oil to lubricate the compressor during operation. R-22 units use mineral oil, whereas R410-A units use synthetic oil. The synthetic oil mixes better with R410-A compared to mineral oil and R-22; this “better blend” means the R410-A units run more efficiently and reduce wear and tear on the compressor.

Looking Ahead

Manufacturers will stop producing R-22 in 2020. Although reclaimed or recycled R-22 will be available until 2030, the cost has risen significantly. If your current system uses Freon and is less than 10 years old, it’s essential to maintain your system to protect against refrigerant leaks and the high service and repair costs of R-22.

To learn more about efficient ways to keep your Amarillo home cool and comfortable, check out the Bryant air conditioning systems we offer or call us at 806-553-4690.