R-22 Reclamation: What You Need to Know

With summer coming, you want to make sure your air conditioning system is ready for peak performance. This should include checking that your unit does not use R-22 refrigerant. Read on to discover why and what to do if you have an R-22 system.

What Is R-22?

Government regulations require that all air conditioners and heat pumps no longer use R-22 refrigerant. For many years, R-22 had been the HVAC industry standard in the manufacture of central air conditioning systems. R-22, which is often referred to by its brand name Freon®, is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that has been shown to contribute to ozone depletion. Continued ozone depletion can lead to increases in skin cancer and cataracts and a reduction in the yield of important food crops.

If your existing air conditioning system uses R-22 refrigerant, it can be serviced and recharged with R-22 until January 1, 2020. However, after this date, manufacturers must cease all production of R-22 refrigerant. If you purchase a new air conditioning or heat pump system now, it will most likely use R-410A refrigerant, which is more environmentally friendly. The last section of this post contains more details about the benefits of R-410A.

What Do I Do If I Have an R-22 System?

If you currently have an air conditioning system that uses R-22 refrigerant, the commercial refrigeration and air conditioning professionals at Five Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., in Florida can help you replace your system with one that uses R-410A refrigerant.

Alternately, if you are looking to buy a new system, request one that uses R-410A refrigerant. While some companies have produced “dry charge” air conditioning units, which allow for a technician to come to a residence and install the R-22 refrigerant (rather than R-22 being installed at the factory), many professionals do not recommend this practice because of the increasing price of R-22 as supplies diminish. Greater efficiency and lower energy costs are also associated with R-410A. Additionally, these “dry charged” units frequently offer much shorter warranty periods than units with R-410A installed.

Why Is R-410A Better?

The government has approved R-410A, which is often referred to by a brand name like Puron®. R-410A is considered superior to R-22 because R-410A has no chlorine, meaning that it will not interact with the ozone layer once it breaks down. R-410A became the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems in 2015.

R-410A allows your air conditioning unit to run more reliably and efficiently than with R-22. R-410A absorbs and releases more heat than R-22, prompting your air conditioning compressor to run cooler. This, in turn, reduces the risk of compressor burnout from overheating.

R-410A systems use synthetic oil to keep the compressor lubricated during operation, while R-22 air conditioners use mineral oil. The synthetic oil tends to be more soluble than mineral oil, allowing an R-410A system to operate more efficiently with less wear and tear on the compressor.

For questions about R-410A refrigerant or any other topics related to commercial refrigeration and air conditioning in Florida, contact the experts at Five Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., at 352-345-4813 today!