R22 versus R410A Refrigerant

If you have been looking for an air-conditioner, you will invariably be plagued by the R22 and R410A dilemma. The R410A refrigerant is the new poster boy of air-conditioning while R22 is going into retirement. However, the main reason for this turn of events is not attributed to any real advantages or disadvantages of the two as a refrigerant. In fact, R22 is much cheaper to produce and simpler to implement than R410A. The reason is simply the environment.

R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) which potentially contributes to ozone depletion and global warming. As part of the Montreal Protocol, all CFCs and HCFCs will be phased out in an effort to preserve the ozone layer. In Singapore, the sale of new R22 refrigerant and R22 products will cease as of 1st January 2016. But the supply of recycled R22 will continue till 2040. To the consumer, this means you can buy an R22 air-con before 2016 and still top-up the gas till 2040 if needed. But I seriously doubt any air-con is going to last for 25 years.

So what’s the benefit of buying an R410A air-conditioner? Ideally, the basic cliche is you will be doing your part to save the ozone. Practically, however, R410A is more efficient than R22 in cooling and hence saves you $$$ in the long run. Also, as more countries around the world start to use R410A for their air-cons, the cost will invariably fall. On the flip side, R22 is gradually becoming more scarce, and I’m sure you are well aware of what happens to price when the item becomes a rarity. Up!

So before you decide on R22 or R410A, I have compiled a short list of pros and cons for quick reference.

R22 Refrigerant


  • Less expensive equipment
  • Easier to install
  • Much cheaper to refill gas
  • Lower operating pressure


  • Not ozone friendly
  • Old technology
  • Lower efficiency

R410A Refrigerant


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Higher heat carrying capacity
  • Better efficiency
  • New technology


  • Higher capital outlay
  • Stricter installation procedures, ie. higher-cost
  • Almost twice the cost to refill gas

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