Freon refrigerant R22
Freon R22 is a chlorine based refrigerant and damages the ozone layer. This is why E.P.A. has ordered the phase out of R22.
Can I just change the condenser refrigerant to R-410a? NO, 410a operates at 60% higher operating pressures than R22. New equipment is rated for the higher pressures.
Whats the scoop?
Can I just change the condenser and the evaporator will be fine? Old evaporators will not take the high pressure very long, if your evaporator is “dual rated” it will be ok however because of the different types of oils used R22 uses a mineral based oil,410a uses a polyester based oil) the evaporator and lines must be chemically flushed.
Chlorodifluoromethane, also known as HCFC-22 is a common Freon refrigerant that is currently being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion (it is also a global warming gas). U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of R22 by imposing strict quotas on its production. Since 2010, the agency has also banned sale of new air-conditioning units containing R22, and has promoted recycling of the gas from old machines so it will not be released. Despite these efforts, the agency has drawn criticism for not doing enough. Can a refrigerant bounty or buy-back program help? What about a cap-and-trade program?
Let’s first look at some of the things related to R22 that are legal and are not legal:
Production for servicing existing equipment installed prior to January 1, 2010
Production and import by businesses that have prescribed allowances from U.S. EPA through 2020
Freon Leaks from large systems above specified leak rates that go unreported and unrepaired
Refrigerant Imports or production by businesses that are not authorized by EPA
Sale to non EPA-certified technicians.
(When a technician is disconnecting his gauges, there is refrigerant in the hoses. This is called “line loss” and is legal to release)