Freon. It was once a common word to use when talking about your air conditioner.
Freon isn’t a new resource. It was developed in the 1930s as a material used in refrigeration and air conditioning designed to help cool the surrounding area. While Freon was a popular reference, it’s also been known as R-22 or HCFC-22.
In the 1980s, scientists discovered that Freon is damaging to the environment, creating an “ozone hole” in the upper layer of the atmosphere that threatens both people and our world. Certain chemicals, including R-22, were found to be the root cause, and they set out to discover better, less harmful materials to use.
Because this problem isn’t confined to one country or area, it was looked at as a global problem. The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, in which 197 countries came together to work towards phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals.
All air conditioners manufactured after 2010 were banned from using Freon. A new chemical known as Puron or 410A replaced Freon, which is safer for the environment. However, this ruling only required new air conditioners to use the updated refrigerant; it didn’t stop air conditioners from using it if they were already in use.
As of January 2020, R-22 has been banned entirely from production. That means if any old air conditioning system needs servicing, they will no longer be able to replace the refrigerant.
These chemicals are not a crossover. You can’t put 410A into a system that requires R-22. If you do, the system will die shortly after it starts operating again.
Technically, you could retrofit an R-22 system with 410A if you replace the condenser, compressor, evaporator, and refrigerant lines, clean out the entire system, and recharge it with 410A refrigerant.
But if your system uses R-22, it’s old technology. It isn’t efficient, and doesn’t meet any of today’s standards for energy usage.
By installing a new energy efficient model, you’ll be upgrading your system, and giving your home the best technology for keeping you cool all summer long.