4 Popular Refrigerant Types That Are Safer Than Freon

Since the time that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) decided that the most common hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerant known as R-22, was not so healthy like the experts thought and promoted, they have worked over the last few decades on the complete phase out of its overall use. The phasing out period started in 2010, which was implemented further in 2015. The agency has plans in place to limit R-22 severely by 2020, and by 2030 do away with this refrigerant completely which will mean it will become illegal.

As more and more homeowners and business owners are trying to ascertain that their machinery and refrigerant-based equipment will carry on working in their companies, homes along with other sites, they keep searching for a cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to Freon. For anyone who need to replace R-22 of Freon, here is a list of 4 refrigerant types which are proven to offer a safer alternative.

The following 4 common classification of refrigerants are regarded as safe and suitable alternatives. However, it is important to consider that each option is associated with its own benefits and drawbacks, along with many safety precautions and uses that have to be taken very seriously.

  1. R-134A

R-134A which is known as Norflurane, is a type of haloalkane refrigerant that has thermodynamic properties. This refrigerant consists of one component and is not a blend like the majority of Freon and R-12 options. This aspect means that working with R-134A does not necessitate using various recovery equipment.

According to EPA regulations, any product which recycles or uses blends will require separate devices for every component. Currently, R-134A is the sole refrigerant alternative which has approval for retrofit for Freon air-conditioning systems in vehicles, which is its more popular use. The retrofitting process must follow specific procedures to prevent safety hazards long with other issues.

In most cases, retrofitting involves a simple process. These procedures include switching a car’s drier/receiver or accumulator, removal of an old compressor and the replacement of high-pressure switch in the air conditioner. Even though the process is regarded as easy, it is still vital that it is done correctly and with care. For example, if any Freon is left behind, it can result in cross-contamination which could have detrimental effects to the system.

R-134A is regarded as one of the top alternatives in association to what a few a experts call the insignificant effects when it comes to the O2 layer. It is widely available throughout the US and can be purchased easily through most of the auto shops.

  1. R-404A

Another widely approved and accepted refrigerant which has a 0 ozone-depletion potential, which makes it an outstanding alternative to Freon. R-404A is typically used for the refrigeration equipment which requires temperatures between 15 degrees and -45 degrees Celsius, that translates to 59° F and -49° F. This refrigerant is more commonly utilized in commercial and industrial transport sectors due to the significant temperature range.

The make-up of R-404A is somewhat similar to Freon and in some cases offers improved performance. Because it does not have rapid reactions to air and moisture, it is regarded as safe for a number of uses. This refrigerant is also colorless, non-flammable and odorless.

In the same way as the other refrigerants, necessary safety precautions are required. Contact with this type of refrigerant might result in frostbite, while exposure to fire or high heat can cause fractures in the tank, which can result in a rocket-effect. This refrigerant is common and available in most stores which specialize in cooling and heating machinery.

  1. R-407C

The thermodynamic features which are similar to Freon, R-407C is also a common option for those who would like to retrofit Freon equipment and machinery. The mixture of hydrofluorocarbons is made up of a combination of pentafluoroethane, 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane and difluoromethane. This is an acceptable alternative which is more popular in the ductless split-systems along with light-air conditioning, packaged air-conditioners, direct expansion-systems and water chillers associated with the industrial, residential and commercial places. It is used ideally in the medium temperature refrigeration equipment.

R-407C is also used in newly-produced appliances. The types that use nitrogen as the holding charge happen to be particularly ideal with this refrigerant because it uses a polyol ester-oil. It may be used more commonly in the new refrigeration and appliance systems, yet R-407C is also useful for retrofitting in the limited Freon systems provided the processes involve changing the oil.

R-407C is a great alternative over R-22, because it is safer for our environment with an O2 depletion potential set at 0. It is available in cylinders and drums and is available through well-known refrigeration and gas stores across the country as well as from a number of online sources.

  1. R-410A

This is refrigerant combines 2 hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, pentafluoroethane and difluoromethane. It is also classified as a type of non-ozone depleting compound which offers improved energy efficiency compared to both Freon and R-407C. It also does not use chlorine within its composition.

R-410A is also regarded as a better option to Freon in association to its higher-pressure along with refrigeration capacities that achieves an improved performance. If you have decided to invest in units that use this refrigerant type, these processes are relatively easy. In fact, many companies which specialize in these refrigeration devices make the units for this use specifically.

Even though it may be one of the more popular in air conditioning, commercial refrigeration and chilling units, it is important to know that R-410A is unable to function in the Freon air-conditioning units. This has to do with the need for different pressure gauges in comparison to what is used with Freon which is attributed to its much higher pressure.

R-410A needs to be charges in a liquid form and in small burst. This refrigerant is sold under different trademarks that include Puron, Ecofluor R410, Genetron R410A, AZ-20, Suva 410A and Florane 410A. Similar to the other 3 refrigerants, this type is also widely available in cooling and heating stores and online.