At the beginning of 2020, R-22 refrigerant was officially banned from being produced or imported into the United States due to the harm it causes to the ozone. That means that if your system still runs on R-22, you’ll need to find an alternative. What are your options? Here are some of the best refrigerant types to choose from:
- R-410A. The most common R-22 alternative for residential systems is R-410A. Unlike R-22, R-410A doesn’t harm the ozone. It’s also both cheaper and more efficient than R-22, and it allows the system to run better.
- R-404A. This coolant can operate at a wide range of temperatures, making it a popular option for commercial and industrial systems. It’s clean and efficient, with zero impact on the ozone.
- R-134A. Most of the other options on this list consist of multiple chemical compounds that are blended together. In these blends, the different components must be kept in separate containers. R-134A is made from just one component, making it easier to use. It’s less suited to home HVAC systems, however, and more suited to vehicle AC units.
- R-407C. This option works best with packaged systems and ductless mini-splits as opposed to traditional split systems. It also works well in refrigerators and other appliances that require coolant.
- Natural refrigerants. Rather than man-made chemicals, natural cooling uses things like water, air, ammonia, and C02. They’re significantly cheaper than many traditional coolants, completely safe, and environmentally friendly.
Note that for any refrigerant alternative, using it isn’t simply a matter of substituting one for the other. All of these refrigerants charge at different pressures from R-22, making them incompatible.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t switch refrigerant types. It just means your system must be retrofitted with new valves and components to be able to handle the new pressure. Retrofitting is usually a fairly simple procedure. Talk to your HVAC technician to see if it’s worthwhile for your system.
For more help understanding different refrigerant types and finding the one that best suits your needs, contact us at Detmer and Sons. We provide quality home-comfort solutions to the Dayton area.