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How can I tell if an air conditioner uses R-22 or R-410A refrigerant?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You can find what type of refrigerant the system uses by examining the fine print on the manufacturer’s data plate, on the side of either the condenser (outside unit) or air handler (inside unit). Some manufacturers make it easier for you by putting  a separate sticker on the condenser with the refrigerant spelled out in tall letters, like the one shown above we found on the side of a Tempstar condenser from 2013.

    Carrier is another company that often attaches a big sticker announcing the use of their trademarked version of R-410A, called Puron, and they were the first to introduce the new refrigerant to the market in 1996. It was created as a replacement for the older R-22, which the EPA determined was detrimental to the earth’s atmosphere. The EPA has been gradually tightening of supplies of R-22 in the U.S., which will end with an outright ban on manufacture of new R-22 in 2020.

    The data plate photos shown below, with the refrigerant type circled in red, should help you locate the info on your machine. R-22 will sometimes be alternately noted as HCFC-22 because it is a HydoChloroFluoroCarbon, and R-410A may appear as HFC-410A. The year your system was manufactured will also provide a clue: before 1996 will be R-22, 1996 through 2009 could be either one, and 2010 or later will likely be R-410A—because new systems were required to be only R-410A beginning January 1, 2010.

Also, see our blog post When does the ban on R-22 air conditioning refrigerant take effect? 

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  To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:

How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? 

My air conditioner won't turn on. What's wrong? 

How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? 

How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? 

Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? I can’t find it? 

Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? 

How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? 

What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low?

Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? 

Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? 

Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? 

What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners?  

Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? 

   Visit our HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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