R-410A Questions & Answers

R-410a refrigerant is a popular heating and air conditioning refrigerant currently in widespread use. If you have questions about it, we have answers!

Do you need a license to buy R-410A refrigerant?

You do not need an EPA license to purchase R-410A. However, you do need a license to use it to charge a system. While we encourage responsible DIYers, there are some things you should definitely leave to a trained HVAC professional.

What is the difference between R-22 and R-410A?

The two refrigerants are similar in that they are both capable of cooling your home. However, they are not exactly the same. R-22 is less energy efficient and is ozone-depleting, the primary reason it is being phased out. Also, R-22 is much more expensive when it can even be found for purchase at all. Unless your old R-22 system is still going strong, there are very few reasons to stick with it.

Is R-410A a CFC?

No, it is not a chlorofluorocarbon. It is 100% non-ozone depleting. In fact, that's the whole point. R-410A is one of the alternative refrigerants developed in response to the 1987 Montreal Protocol. In the United States, the Montreal Protocol is enforced via Title VI of the Clean Air Act as implemented by the EPA.

Is R-410A a toxic chemical?

It's not instantly deadly, but R-410A is not a chemical you want to bathe in. In liquid form it is so cold that contact could cause frostbite. Avoid coming into contact with it. If you do get it on your skin, flush with water to remove the chemicals. Should symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention. And don't eat it.

Is R-410A reusable?

With the proper equipment and training, R-410A could be reclaimed for later reuse. Current regulations allow for reuse in the same equipment or in other equipment owned by the same person. Obviously, it is important to ensure any recovered refrigerant is not too contaminated for effective reuse. If it is, it should be properly disposed of by the certified reclaimer.

Do you still have questions?

Just let us know in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

22 comments (view/add)
  • Jane Kostopoulos
    Jane Kostopoulos
    Posted on 9/20/2022

    Dan, so if Lori is smelling something when the ac goes on she is smelling POE which is added to the refrigerant to inform of a leak. So why didn't you tell Lori that this should be checked since she smells it and that means a leak. We are going through the same hell and all the ac companies we used and called said there is no smell.


    Posted on 6/5/2021
    Hi, I have a 9 year old Lennox XC21 that uses HCF-410A. I had a huge leak in the air handling unit, coil was replaced with a quantum coil, the preferred coil by my AC company when the original coil fails. I mentioned an odor that I noticed every time the AC kicked on, tech said that was the 410a I was smelling from the leak. A couple hours after the coil was changed and the AC guys were long gone, I noticed that same smell as the air started to flow from the vents. I text the AC tech that did the work, he said “must be residual leftover, they changed the coil and there is no more leak”
    It has been three full days since the repair, there is still the same odor coming from the vents when the AC kicks on.
    It is not a musty or moldy smell. This smell is the same prior to coil change. I’ve researched and found conflicting answers, does HFC-410A have an odor? Do they add a chemical to detect a leak, like they do for example, natural gas?
    Thanks for your help!

    Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/7/2021
    R-410A does not have an odor. The refrigerant oil used with R-410A is POE and it does have an odor. It is non-toxic and should diminish with time.

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 9/22/2022

    She had had the HVAC professional over just recently to work on the system, so it's reasonable that there was a residual smell. If you are smelling something from your system without any interference from a professional, please get it checked by a professional as quickly as you can.

  • BillKY
    BillKY
    Posted on 8/20/2022

    I've seen R410a imported from Malaysia. What are the import restrictions on R410a?

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/22/2022

    Allowances, which is a unit of measurement that the EPA uses to keep track of production and consumption, are needed to produce or import bulk HFCs. A number of variables decide how many allowances a company gets. This is ultimately in order to reduce and eliminate the use of HFCs. Specific regulations can be found on the EPA's website.

  • Debra Abercrumbia
    Debra Abercrumbia
    Posted on 6/28/2022

    Two years ago an HVAC company installed a new R-410A air handler while the condenser was a R-22. The system failed so now I'm replacing both air handler and condenser with R-410A. My problem is the company wants to relocate the setup to another location and install new wiring, pipes, etc.for thousands of dollars more. Can the HVAC use the same concrete slab and remove the contaminates from the lines and install the units in same location?

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/11/2022

    They should be able to, but for the best overall efficiency and performance it would be best to replace the line set as well.

  • Ryan Shaffer
    Ryan Shaffer
    Posted on 4/28/2022

    Isn't R-410a considered a "non-exempt substitute" and therefore under restricted sale regulations starting in 2018?

  • Rebekah Muller
    Rebekah Muller from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/4/2022

    There are regulations coming in 2023 that restrict the sale of R-410A, but it is currently legal to sell and purchase this refrigerant.

  • Jenanne
    Jenanne
    Posted on 10/19/2021

    If 410a can be reused in the same system it just came from, why does every HVAC company charge in upwards of $1350 for refrigerant for two 3 ton units, and another $1250 for a Reclaim fee to add refrigerant back into the system? I am assuming they are using new refrigerant at this point, but believe they are simply reusing it.
    What am I missing?
    Just how much 410a does a 3 Ton unit need and what size reclaim tank will I need for it?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 10/25/2021

    We cannot speak for all HVAC companies. Most do charge a reclamation fee for repairs that require recovery, but it is not normal to charge $1250 to reclaim refrigerant. Yes, it is possible to reuse the refrigerant that is recovered from the system that is being repaired in order to avoid the cost of new refrigerant. The factory charge will vary from model to model. A 3 ton heat pump condenser would average around 8 lbs. of refrigerant. A standard 25 lb. recovery tank would be adequate for two systems.

  • Lori
    Lori
    Posted on 6/5/2021

    Hi, I have a 9 year old Lennox XC21 that uses HCF-410A. I had a huge leak in the air handling unit, coil was replaced with a quantum coil, the preferred coil by my AC company when the original coil fails. I mentioned an odor that I noticed every time the AC kicked on, tech said that was the 410a I was smelling from the leak. A couple hours after the coil was changed and the AC guys were long gone, I noticed that same smell as the air started to flow from the vents. I text the AC tech that did the work, he said “must be residual leftover, they changed the coil and there is no more leak”
    It has been three full days since the repair, there is still the same odor coming from the vents when the AC kicks on.
    It is not a musty or moldy smell. This smell is the same prior to coil change. I’ve researched and found conflicting answers, does HFC-410A have an odor? Do they add a chemical to detect a leak, like they do for example, natural gas?
    Thanks for your help!

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/7/2021

    R-410A does not have an odor. The refrigerant oil used with R-410A is POE and it does have an odor. It is non-toxic and should diminish with time.

  • Wayne Novess
    Wayne Novess
    Posted on 5/14/2021

    Is r410a charging tank refrigerant good if 10% of it was put into a systen as a gas?Is the other 90% in charging cylinder good?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/14/2021

    Yes, the refrigerant is okay to use.

  • Jim
    Jim
    Posted on 4/26/2021

    Can you vent 410a?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 4/26/2021

    Not legally.

  • Jack Dempsey
    Jack Dempsey
    Posted on 7/20/2019

    I have a bad Lennox heat pump with R22 gas and a Carrier air handler indoors. Can I have a 2.5 ton Goodman replace my outdoor only and continue with the current indoor installation.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 7/22/2019

    If the interior air handler is compatible with R-410a and it can work with the new condenser, then yes. However, manufacturers don't like when you match their products with a competitor. Chances are that installing a Goodman condenser with a Carrier air handler would void both warranties.

  • Michael McAllister
    Michael McAllister
    Posted on 6/3/2019

    Can I Replace R 22 Out Of My Old Unit And Use R-410A Without Changing Anything Or Other Part's ;
    I Have A 1992 16 By 80 Mobile Home , Or Is It Only For Newer Air Conditioners

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/3/2019

    We recommend you don't mix R-22 and R-410a. They do not work well together. However, if you're talking about completely replacing R-22 with R-410a, the answer is also probably not. R-410a has to be charged at a higher pressure than R-22. Your old system may not be suited to operating at that higher pressure. The ultimate answer would be to consult the manufacturing specs for your equipment to see if they approve R-410a usage.

  • Ralph Dunavant
    Ralph Dunavant
    Posted on 5/13/2019

    How is R-410A reusable?

    It is a blended refrigerant.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/14/2019

    It is, but it can be removed from a system, undergo a reclaiming process to restore it to its original state, and then reused.


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