Most air-conditioners and heat pumps sold around the world use a refrigerant called R-22. Emissions of R-22 are considered by some experts to be a significant factor in depleting the ozone layer that protects animals and people from harmful rays from the sun.
Families now have the choice to ask for an air-conditioner or heat pump that uses a more efficient and environmentally friendlier refrigerant called 410A or R-410 when buying a new system for their home.
It’s Environmentally Friendlier. If your system ever leaks, the escaping refrigerant won’t contribute to ozone depletion! Why can’t R-410A affect the ozone layer? R-410A is not a CFC or an HCFC. It is called an HFC, or hydrofluorocarbon, and is made of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon atoms. Because it has no chlorine, it won’t interact with the ozone layer once it breaks down.
You avoid the risk that R-22 could become expensive or difficult to get when your system needs to be repaired in a few years. The old refrigerant R-22 will be phased out along with other ozone depleting chemicals, and both supply and demand of this chemical will be significantly affected by current and upcoming regulations. By selecting an air conditioner or heat pump that uses R-410A, you will avoid the risk associated with purchasing a product that is destined to become obsolete.
R-410A systems can be more reliable than R-22 systems. R-410A air conditioning and heat pump are today’s “state of the art” systems, and utilize the most current technology available for efficient and reliable operation. The heart of every air conditioner or heat pump is the compressor, and newer systems are specifically designed to use R-410A refrigerant. R-410A can absorb and release heat more efficiently than R-22 ever could, compressors with R-410A run cooler than R-22 systems, reducing the risk of burnout due to overheating.
We all know that the first thing “to go” on an air conditioning unit is the compressor. All air-conditioning systems use an oil that circulates through the inside of the system to keep all of the parts well lubricated, just like the engine of your car. R-22 air conditioners use an oil known as “mineral oil” that has been used for decades. R-410A air conditioners use newer synthetic lubricants that are usually more soluble with the R-410A than the old mineral oils are with the older R-22 refrigerants. This means the synthetic lubricants and R-410A can mix and circulate more efficiently to keep the compressor and other moving parts lubricated, reducing wear and extending their life. Also, just as many new cars use synthetic oils because they are less likely to break down under high stress and heat, the new synthetic oils used in R-410A air conditioners are less likely to break down under extreme conditions.
R-410A offers some wonderful advantages, but it required the manufacturers of air conditioners to redesign their products to take advantage of the properties of the refrigerant. The reason why a refrigerant works is because it captures the heat from one place, and then releases the heat somewhere else. R-410A captures heat and then releases it better than R-22 did, so manufacturers have found that they need less refrigerant in an R-410A air conditioner than they needed in an R-22 air conditioner. Because there’s less refrigerant, they need less copper tubing, and often can use a smaller compressor. The bad news was that R-410A couldn’t be used in air conditioners that were made to use R-22, but the advantages for new air conditioners were too great to pass up.
It’s obvious that air conditioners manufactured for using R-410A are more efficient, more reliable, and may even be less costly than the older units that still use R-22. Compare the SEER or EER ratings and the ENERGY STAR rating to be sure.