Though math, English, science and even computers are subjects that one is likely to find at a school, heating and cooling are not. Therefore, it is understandable why most people probably do not know too much about what is going with their furnaces or air conditioners and that is O.K. When discussing your air conditioner with a company or technician, you may have heard the words refrigerant, Puron and Freon flying around. If you were not quite sure what those mean-here is some more information.
Puron and Freon are both refrigerants that help to cool your home. If you remember learning a little bit about the Water Cycle in school-this is a little like this. Both of these refrigerants start off as a gas. When they are in the outside unit of your air conditioner a compressor compresses them to liquid form. They travel as a liquid through a little tube into your home where they are released onto a coil. Because the pressure is gone, the refrigerant reverts to a gas state. When a liquid evaporates it absorbs heat and takes heat with it. Therefore, when this refrigerant becomes a gas again-it takes away some of the heat, causing cooling.
Freon (R-22) and Puron (R410A) both go through the same cooling process but they have differences. Puron is much more environmentally friendly. It is non-ozone depleting and it is also chlorine free. However, at the moment it is a little more expensive than Freon. Freon is older and not as “green” or environmentally friendly.
The EPA is starting to phase out Freon due to the fact that it is harmful to the environment. Starting in January 2010, heating and cooling manufacturers cannot make any units that use Freon. Existing units that use Freon can still exist and be serviced however. Unfortunately, Freon prices will probably start to rise since not as much of it will be being made.
Though it is great to use Puron and help the environment, it is not a small change to make. A whole new unit is needed because Puron needs more pressure than Freon to be able to condense to a liquid. Sometimes some of the same pipes and lines can be used for both Freon and Puron, but a trained and qualified professional would have to come and look to decide if that is possible in your home. Therefore, if you are in the market for a new a/c or if your air conditioner is 10-12 years old or older you may want to consider purchasing a new Puron unit. If not, it won’t hurt to keep the Freon one around for a little longer!
Now that you know more about refrigerants, you can possibly impress your friends with your knowledge! If you have any questions, you can call Flame or leave a comment.