The Different Types of Refrigerants Used in Air Conditioners


Refrigerant is a chemical compound used in your air conditioner. It absorbs environmental heat and provides cool air once it runs through compressors and evaporators. However, there isn’t just one type of refrigerant, which makes it easy to get them confused. There are actually three different types, and using the wrong one can damage your air conditioner because they’re not interchangeable. With that in mind, it’s important to know as much as possible about these refrigerants.

In this post, furnace maintenance experts from Dependable Heating & Air Conditioning discuss the different refrigerant types and how to know which one your AC uses.


Chlorofluorocarbons like R12 are one type of refrigerant used in air conditioners. However, they’ve been shown to contribute to the greenhouse gas effect, which is harmful to the environment. With that in mind, manufacturers stopped using it as a refrigerant, and the production of R12 stocks ceased in 1994.


R22 is what is commonly known as Freon, and has been used as a central air conditioning system refrigerant for decades. However, like R12, it’s been linked to environmental damage such as ozone depletion. As a result, the Clean Air Act of 2010 was passed, and residential furnace repair pros and manufacturers have stopped using it. It will be completely phased out by 2020.


R410A (also known as Puron) is the R22 replacement for ACs. Due to the lack of chlorine in the mixture, it’s less harmful to the environment while still retaining the same cooling characteristics as R22. Systems that run on Puron are also noted to be more efficient, offer better air quality, and increase comfort and reliability. However, it cannot be used in systems that used to run on R22, so an upgrade or replacement will likely be needed.

How To Tell Which Refrigerant To Use

One way you can tell which refrigerant your air conditioner needs is by checking the large sticker or plate on its compressor or evaporator, which will state the refrigerant that’s required. It’s important to check these stickers before replacing the refrigerant, as they’re not interchangeable, and using the wrong type can damage your system. On the other hand, if you’re hesitant to replace it yourself, you can always call on a professional like Dependable Heating & Air Conditioning to do it for you.

To make your search for a home heating replacement expert easier, look no further than Dependable Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re your number one provider of HVAC repair and maintenance services.