Goodbye, Freon; Hello, Puron
To replace R22, the cooling industry has come up with R410a, commonly known as Puron. Although Puron is a well-known brand name, some companies use different trade names, so this article will call the new refrigerant R410a.
R410a systems improve on R22 ones in several ways. R410a provides a higher safety rating, it doesn’t deplete the ozone layer whatsoever, and it’s even slightly more energy efficient than R22.
“Drop-in” Replacements for R22
Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard about “drop-in” replacements for R22, there’s no such thing. You can’t just swap out R410a in a system that’s designed to run on R22. The term “drop-in” refers to retrofitting an R22 system to run on R410a. When this is done properly, it costs customers as much, or even more, as buying a new unit that runs on R410a. The two refrigerants operate at different pressure levels and need different parts to run, so the tech needs to replace the most expensive parts of the system anyway. If this isn’t done, your system will quickly give up the ghost, and you’ll need to install a new unit anyway.
Moreover, your manufacturer may well refuse to pay for the components needed to retrofit your system because installing those parts will probably void the warranty. If your HVAC unit is on its last legs anyway, it’s best to bite the bullet and invest in a new unit. To avoid emergencies on a hot day and to save money by taking advantage of off-season pricing, many homeowners decide to proactively replace their old AC systems before they stop working. If you’re leaning toward that decision, you’re in good company! You’ll reap the benefits of your new system in dependability, satisfaction, and long-term comfort.
Of course, installing a new air conditioning system is a significant expense, so you’ll want to get estimates from several companies. If you can’t come up with the money all at once or you prefer not to decimate your emergency fund, ask about financing plans to help smooth out your costs. Also, make sure to inquire about any manufacturer and utility rebates that are available.