The production of CFCs, also known as Freon, was phased out by 1995. Some examples of these refrigerants are R11, R12 and R115. They were deemed unsafe for the environment contributing towards the depletion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect.
R22 or Freon 22 is an HCFC refrigerant which is basically a chlorofluorocarbon but with a hydrogen atom to decrease its lifespan in the environment. After CFCs they became the standard use in air conditioners from 1960 to being completely phased out in by being banned for use in new air conditioners in 2010.
If your air conditioner was installed before January 1st 2010 it probably used R22, while you may have been able to get this at an increasing cost before, it is completely ceased in 2020.
R22 is also linked with environmental damage which is the reason behind its ban by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The ban on R22 necessitated the introduction of a new AC refrigerant R410A, also known as Puron. R-410A is a chlorine-free refrigerant making it much less harmful to the environment without losing its cooling characteristics.
It is essential to be careful since HVAC appliances intended for R-22 cannot be used with R-410A, considering its higher operating pressures.
Moreover, R-410A permits higher SEER ratings for an HVAC system, as compared to one using R-22 as well as better air quality and comfort. With higher SEER and lower power consumption there is an added benefit of lowering the total demand for power plants, thus reducing greenhouse emissions.
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