Since the inception of air conditioners in the 1920s, systems ran on R-22, also referred to as Freon. This refrigerant was considered revolutionary for many years because homeowners and business owners enjoyed the comfort of living and working in climate-controlled environments.
However, experts discovered that components in R-22 contributed to environmental toxicity and ozone depletion. Efforts were started in 2010 to phase out the manufacturing and importation of this refrigerant. As of 2020, R-22 can no longer be manufactured or imported. This means that consumers with air conditioners still relying on R-22 must use recycled supplies, resulting in scarcity. More favorable alternatives are preferred to Freon, and these include the following.
This refrigerant comprises pentafluoroethaneis and difluoromethane, known for being energy-efficient and safe for the ozone layer. R-410A has a higher refrigeration capacity, supporting a more improved cooling performance. This refrigerant will be phased out starting in 2023 due to carrying a warning for global warming potential, so homeowners and business owners with systems that require this refrigerant will need to consider other options eventually.
The good news is that homeowners and business owners have a long time before they need to worry since they can still purchase R-410A. If it’s necessary to replace the entire system, it’s advantageous to ensure the new equipment uses a refrigerant that will be around for a while.
R-407C is commonly used to replace Freon. It contains similar thermodynamic properties but doesn’t carry the same danger of depleting the ozone layer. This refrigerant is widely used in ductless systems and packaged air conditioners in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. R-407C is best suited for systems that use polyol ester oil and a nitrogen-holding charge.
Also referred to as Puron Advance™, this refrigerant is much cleaner than Freon and has no devastating environmental impact. R-454B has been manufactured to replace R-410A and complies with UN Montreal Protocol Kigali Amendment regulations. In terms of long-term cooling solutions, this particular refrigerant stands out as the most viable option due to its ability to simultaneously deliver top-notch performance, ensure safety, and promote sustainability. Its balanced approach to these critical factors makes it a reliable choice for those seeking an effective and responsible cooling solution.
Although there are other options available, these are the most frequently used alternatives to Freon. If you have a unit that still runs on R-22 and you reside in Helena, MT contact Big Sky Plumbing & Heating to see if a new air conditioning system or retrofitting is right for you.