What is R410A Refrigerant?

R-410A refrigerant was developed as an environmentally friendly and more efficient alternative to replace R-22 (Freon).

Function

New air conditioning units built to comply with EPA.New air conditioning units built to comply with EPA.
R-410A refrigerant--also known as Puron--does not deplete the ozone the way R-22 does but does have a higher global warming potential than the R-22 coolant.

The Clean Air Act of 1990 mandated a gradual phaseout of the R-22 refrigerant used in many cooling and heat pump systems. Testing deemed the R-410A refrigerant as a superior replacement for industry standards because of performance and energy efficiency.

History

In 1991, Allied Signal (now Honeywell Corporation) patented the new refrigerant, which mixes with a synthetic lubricant rather than oil in refrigeration units. This allows R-410A to circulate more efficiently to keep the compressor running smoothly.

Industry Compliance

Manufacturers of air conditioning units that formerly utilized R-22 have been updating product lines since 2004 to accommodate the new refrigerant. The first company to jump manufacture a residential air conditioner using R-410A was the Carrier Corporation in 1996. The deadline for manufacture of R-22 systems was January 2010.

Potential

The heat-transfer properties available in R-410A refrigerant units offer consumers higher-efficiency performance and rating. Upgrading to a new system provides future cost savings as R-22 refrigerant continues to be phased out and increases in price.

Considerations

Production of R-22 has a complete phaseout plan of 2020. Conversion of units is possible, but both indoor cooler coils and outdoor condensers must be replaced when switching the units over.

Warnings

Refrigerants R-410A and R-22 cannot be cross-matched in units. Lines used for the R-410A refrigerant must be properly sized for the system.

About the Author

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.