R-410A has been around for nearly ten years now but there are still so many questions asked about it that I thought I would take the time and put together a quick frequently asked question post. The goal of this is to provide you answers on some of the most common questions and hopefully on some of the less common ones. If I missed something here please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will add to this post.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happened to R-22?
- So some of you may be asking why we decided to switch over from R-22 over to R-410A. Well folks it boils down to one thing and one thing only. Chlorine. Yes, that’s right. R-22 contained Chlorine and each and every time R-22 was leaked or vented that Chlorine drifted up and into the atmosphere. Overtime the extended amount and exposure of Chlorine caused a hole, or thinning, of the Ozone layer over the Arctic. Once scientists realized what was going on they alerted the World’s Governments and they took action by creating the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol organised the phase out of CFC and HCFC refrigerants, like R-22, across the globe. R-22’s phase out began in 2010 and in it’s place came R-410A. 410A does not contain any Chlorine and will not be harming the Ozone layer.
- What is R-410A?
- R-410A is an HFC refrigerant that is a blend of the HFC R-32 and the HFC R-125. This refrigerant was designed to be a safe, non-toxic, non-flammable, and reliable alternative to the HCFC R-22. It was invented in 1991 but did not begin to see real popularity until the 2000’s.
- What is Puron?
- Puron is the exact same thing as R-410A. The different name comes from the year 1996 when the Carrier Corporation was the first company to introduce R-410A into the residential air conditioning market. The name Puron is trademarked by the Carrier Corporation. The easiest way to think of it is like Freon. Freon is R-12 but Freon is DuPont’s brand name.
- Can I mix R-22 and R-410A Refrigerants?
- No! No, you cannot do this. They are two very different refrigerants and mixing them together will cause permanent damage to your air conditioning unit.
- Can I retrofit an R-22 Unit Over to R-410A?
- Yes, and no. It can be done but it is not cost effective or recommended. Instead Chemours has provided an alternative drop-in replacement to be used as a substitute to R-22. This refrigerant is known as MO99. Chemours has provided an instructional video on how to retrofit your existing unit to take MO99. If you are interested in purchasing MO99 please click here to be taken to Amazon.com.
- Do I Need Different Tools to Service 410A Units?
- Yes! Due to the much higher pressure of 410A you could risk damaging or even breaking your existing tools. You should use gauge sets, recovery machines, and tanks that are specifically designed to handle R-410A. You can find our recommended tools buyer’s guide by clicking here.
- What Type of Lubricant Should I Use With 410A?
- Instead of the mineral oil that you used to for R-22 you will instead be using a high quality Polyol Ester Oil, or POE. Always double check the specific oil that your compressor’s manufacturer recommends before using.
- Can I Purchase R-410A Without A License?
- No. In order to purchase you need to be certified with the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency under Section 608 Type II or a Universal Certification 608 License.
- What Kind of Certification Do I Need to Work With R-410A?
- In order to work on 410A units you need to be certified with the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency under Section 608 Type II or a Universal Certification 608 License.
- Can 410A Systems Be Topped Off?
- While 410A is a blended refrigerant it acts very much like a single component refrigerant. Because of this any change in composition due to a leak is minimal. The system can be topped off without having to evacuate the entire charge.
- Is R-410A Toxic or Flammable?
- No. Just like R-22 the new R-410A is rated as an A1 classification by ASHRAE. A means non-toxic and 1 means non-flammable. For more information on toxicity and flammability ratings of refrigerants click here for an article I wrote the other day.
- Who Manufactures R-410A?
- There are a lot of manufacturers for R-410A. Some of the most popular names are Honeywell, Chemours/DuPont, Mexichem, and Arkema. There are numerous other companies out there as well including a whole host of imported Chinese product that may not be the highest quality.
- What Countries Are Using R-410A?
- The United States, The European Union, Japan, and many others. It is a very widespread and popular refrigerant nowadays.
- Is R-410A Being Phased Out As Well?
- This one is hard to say. In the year 2015 the United States’ EPA announced a new rule to their SNAP program. This rule was called RULE 20. A fact sheet on this rule can be found by clicking here. Basically, this rule announced the planned phase out of HFC refrigerants across the United States. The initial target was R-404A and then R-134a. While R-410A was only mentioned against vending machines and other non-residential applications I feel that it is only a matter of time before 410A is on the chopping block to be phased out. I believe the only thing holding us back right now is finding a viable alternative to 410A either through HFOs or Hydrocarbons.
Well folks that about wraps it up. I hope that I was able to answer the majority of your questions and as always if I missed something or if you feel that something is inaccurate please reach out to me by clicking here.