Frequently Asked Questions
Will R-22 continue to be readily available and cheaper than R-410A?
The HCFC phase-out schedule (i.e. R-22) is underway, and by 2010 no new R-22 equipment can be manufactured or imported into Canada. Please see the HCFC Phase-out schedule. Currently, the typical price of R-22 is less than R-410A. However, as the quantity of R-22 available in the marketplace diminishes, there will be upward pressure on its price. Similarly, as increased demand for R-410A lowers costs of production and more R-410A is available in the marketplace, there will be downward pressure on its price. In short, we should see increased availability and lower prices for R-410A compared to R-22 over the next five to 10 years.
Impact of the Phase-out Schedule on the Supply of HCFC Refrigerants (PDF. Opens in new window)
Can R22 equipment be retrofitted to use R-410A?
R-410A should never be used in a system designed for use with R-22. Equipment originally designed for use with R22 is not constructed or tested to withstand the higher operating pressures of R-410A. System components including the compressor, condenser, system piping, etc., must withstand not only the higher operating pressures of R-410A, but much higher burst test requirements as well. Many other operational and performance characteristics are substantially different between these two refrigerants. Use of R-410A in any system not specifically designed for R-410A will result in system and/or component malfunction, and will void regulatory approval of the equipment. A "retrofit" with R-410A or R-22 equipment should therefore never be considered, as it is a potentially dangerous and negligent act.
Because R-410A is a blend of refrigerants can it be added to an existing R-410A system charge?
R-410A is a near azeotropic refrigerant mixture with a negligible temperature glide. There are no concerns about fractionalization should refrigerant loss occur, so R-410A can be added without any concern. It is highly recommended that R-410A be charged as a liquid only.
Does R-410A have different storage requirements than R-22?
The storage requirements for R-410A cylinders are identical to those of R-22 cylinders:
- Store in a clean, dry area out of direct sunlight.
- Never allow the cylinder to be heated above 125°F (52°C). Keep in mind that on a hot sunny day the interior of your service vehicle could reach this temperature.
- Keep all valves tightly closed, and keep valve caps and hoods in place when the cylinder is not in use.
- Always secure the cylinder in a service vehicle.