Refrigerant is a compound used in air conditioners. Once through the compressor and evaporator, it absorbs ambient heat and provides cool air. However, there is more than one refrigerant, which can easily confuse them. There are three different types, and using the wrong one can damage your air conditioner because they are not interchangeable. With this in mind, it is important to learn as much as possible about these refrigerants.
Chlorofluorocarbons such as R12 are a type of refrigerant used in air conditioners. However, they have been shown to cause the greenhouse gas effect, which is harmful to the environment. With this in mind, the manufacturer stopped using it as a refrigerant and in 1994 stopped making R12 stocks.
R22, commonly known as Freon, has been used as a refrigerant in central air conditioning systems for decades. However, like R12, it has been linked to environmental damage such as ozone depletion. As a result, the Clean Air Act of 2010 was passed, and residential furnace repair specialists and manufacturers have stopped using it. It will be completely phased out by 2020.
The R410A (also known as Puron) is the R22 replacement for AC. Since the mixture contains no chlorine, it is less harmful to the environment while still maintaining the same cooling properties as R22. Systems running on Puron are also believed to be more efficient, provide better air quality, and improve comfort and reliability. However, it will not work on systems that previously ran on R22, so an upgrade or replacement may be required.
How to tell which refrigerant to use
One way to tell which refrigerant is needed for an air conditioner is to check the large label or nameplate on the compressor or evaporator that will state the refrigerant needed. It is important to check these stickers before changing refrigerants as they are not interchangeable and using the wrong type can damage your system.