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R-22 vs. R410a: Why the Switch?

September 21, 2021 | Blog

As of January 1st, 2020, R-22, also known as Freon, was taken off the market. This refrigerant has been known to harm the environment, so R410a will take its place. What does this mean for air conditioner owners? What if your unit leaks R-22 refrigerant? At Mission AC, we offer speedy AC repair for refrigerant leaks, no matter what type of refrigerant your AC uses. 

Why is R410a Replacing R-22?

While both are residential AC refrigerants, R-22 and R410a differ in their environmental impacts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for a complete recall of R-22 Freon because of its harmful impact on the Earth’s ozone layer. R-22 has grown more scarce after EPA’s announcement, making it difficult and expensive for technicians to replace this refrigerant if it leaks.

R410a has not been known to be ozone-depleting and is proven to be better at absorbing and releasing heat. Air conditioners purchased after 2010 likely already use R410a for its energy efficiency and heightened performance over R-22.

My AC Unit Uses R-22. Should I Replace It?

Most air conditioning units have a nameplate on the unit that will list what type of refrigerant it uses. This plate can be found on the outdoor condenser and may read HFC-22, which is another name for R-22. Another way to know if your unit uses R-22 is its age. Air conditioners purchased before 2004 use R-22 refrigerants. 

If your AC does use R-22. there’s no need to run out and purchase a new system if yours is working fine. Regular maintenance of the unit prevents leaks of this dangerous refrigerant and minimizes the harm R-22 could cause to the environment. If your R-22 unit is running low on refrigerant, DO NOT put any R410a in the system. It can damage or even destroy the air conditioner entirely. 

As R-22 is being phased out, you will need to think about system replacements. It costs less to replace a unit using R-22 than repairing it after a leak, as the stores of R-22 are skyrocketing in price and will eventually run out. R410a uses less energy and will reduce your electric bills while also reducing environmental harm.

How Do I Know If I Have A Refrigerant Leak?

 A refrigerant leak can be dangerous to the environment, and may even reduce the output of cool air from your system. Here are some signs your AC unit may leak refrigerant:

  • Hissing Noises 
  • Frozen Coils
  • Little To No Cool Air
  • Elevated Electric Bills
  • Increased Humidity In Home

Refrigerant leaks can be caused by cracks or holes in the unit’s coils that circulate refrigerant. They are the most common problem with AC units and can be fixed by replacing the damaged coils. If your unit uses R-22, you should call a technician to fix the leak straight away. 

Suspect A Refrigerant Leak? Contact Mission AC

Regardless of the refrigerant type your air conditioner uses, Mission AC will be able to fix a leak on any unit. We service Houston with the best AC repair and installations. Contact us today if you believe your unit may have sprung a leak! 


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