Can My R-22 Unit be Filled With R410A Refrigerant - Ask the Expert Episode 176

Do you have a heating and cooling system that takes R-22 and need to know if you can replace the R-22 with R-410a? Here's the answer.

This question comes from Aaron Papenfuse.

"Hey Dan, my Goodman unit says it takes R-22 refrigerant. Does this mean it can't be filled with R410A?"

Not necessarily. I don't know what kind of Goodman unit you have, but there are some units that are designed to use R-22 or R410A, but not at the same time. Nothing can use them at the same time because that's not how science works. So, if you've got an R-22 unit and you want to get R410A in it, it might be able to. You just need to make sure to check the specifications to see if it can use R410A. If so, you would need to have someone come out and pump out all the R-22 and properly fill it with R410A. Then it would work.

Just remember, you can't have an air handler on R-22 and a condenser on R410A. That's how expensive repair bills get made.

WARNING: Keep in mind that when vacuuming out R-22 to replace with R410A, the coil, line set, and compressor all have to be completely free of the old refrigerant. If it isn't, this can cause a black ash to build up inside the system and destroy the compressor. Also, ensure that the manufacturer product specifications explicitly state that the unit is compatible with the refrigerant you are filling it with. If the specifications do not specify compatibility with a certain refrigerant, do not use that refrigerant in the equipment.

Have more questions? Just ask them in the comments below or on Facebook or on Twitter. 

2 comments (view/add)
  • Steve Singleton
    Steve Singleton
    Posted on 9/10/2019

    Hi Dan.... Am I correct in assuming then, that R22 & R410a both use the same type of lubricating oil?
    During the time of development, there were many experiments with replacing the old gases with the new "ozone-friendly stuff" and there were many conflicts between those that used synthetic oils (PAG ) & those that ran with traditional mineral oils.
    I was in transport refrigeration at the time and many urban myths were circulating during that period...some spelling doom & gloom, as they do!
    Seemed to boil down as to whether they were "Drop-In" or needed extensive/expensive removal of all traces of old oils.
    Kind regards,

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 9/11/2019

    R-22 compressors typically use mineral oil while R-410a compressors require POE oil. There really aren't that many cases in which R-410a systems can use R-22 or vice versa due to the necessity to operate R-410a at considerably higher pressures. In most cases, it would require a lot of work (and probably a compressor replacement) to make an R-22 system work with R-410a or an R-410a system work with R-22. And it probably would never be worth it. It would almost always be cheaper to just get a new system (or use a different kind of refrigerant).

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