R22 To 410A Conversion
The R22 to R410a conversion explained:
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Montreal Protocol for short, is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances, including R22, believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. It was first signed in Montreal in 1987, since then it has undergone several revisions last one in Beijing in 1999.
Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the U.S. Agreed to certain phase out dates that affect the residential heat pump and air conditioning industry:
- January 1, 2004: E.P.A. Issued 100% of baseline allowances to companies for production and importing of R22.
- January 1, 2010: Allowance holders may only produce or import R22 to service existing equipment. 75% less than 2004 levels. Virgin R22 may not be used in new equipment. As a result, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers may not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps containing R22.
- January 1, 2020: Only R22 that has been recovered and recycled will allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufactures will no longer be able to produce R22 to service existing air and heat pumps.
In 1991 a remarkably efficient, environmentally friendly refrigerant call AZ-20 was developed by AlliedSignal, later assigned the generic name R410a by which it is known industry wide. This refrigerant is composed of two chemicals which are blended in the right proportion and act nearly as one within an air conditioning system. This is important because when a technician charges your air conditioning system with refrigerant, he or she needs to be sure that the first drop that goes in is the same as the last drop. Many other possible R22 replacement refrigerants were invented, but had to be ruled out for this very reason.
R410A offers some wonderful advantages, but it required the manufacturers of air conditioners to redesign their products to take advantage of the properties of the refrigerant. The reason why a refrigerant works is because it captures the heat from one place, and then releases the heat somewhere else. R410A captures heat and then releases it better than R22 did, so manufacturers have found that they need less refrigerant in an R410A air conditioner than they needed in an R22 air conditioner. Because there's less refrigerant, they need less copper tubing, and often can use a smaller compressor. The bad news was that R410A couldn't be used in air conditioners that were made to use R22, but the advantages for new air conditioners were too great to pass up.