How Much Does A R22 To R410a A/C Conversion Cost? (2023)

How Much Does A R22 To R410a A/C Conversion Cost? (1)

Your old A/C system is on the fritz, so naturally, you’d call the repairman to come to fix it, right? Unfortunately, depending on how old your system is, the solution may not be that simple. If you have an air conditioning unit manufactured before 2010, you may be required to rebuild or replace it.

The average R22 to R410A conversion cost is $2,000 including materials and labor. Homeowners spend an average of $400 per 25 pounds of R410A refrigerant. You can save money and replace your air conditioner with a single-stage unit for $1,500 instead of converting it.

R410A is a more environmentally friendly refrigerant, but it is incompatible with systems built to use R22. Because R410A operates at a different pressure than R22, you need to replace most of the internal parts. With conversion costs approximately $2000 and higher, it may be more prudent to completely replace your air conditioning system.

Why Would I Need to Convert My Air Conditioning System?

In 2010, several countries met to discuss the damaging consequences of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) on the ozone layer. In an attempt to reduce harmful effects on the ecosystem, these countries agreed to phase out the use of these dangerous compounds. As a result, many refrigerants ceased production–among them R22, commonly used in air conditioning systems.

In addition, importing and exporting these refrigerants ceased, eventually becoming illegal. People could still use A/C units powered by R22 refrigerant, but repair would cost more as R22 prices ballooned. The only viable source for R22 was reclamation from a recycled appliance containing the refrigerant.

Since R22 and R410A are not interchangeable, using an incompatible refrigerant would cause the air conditioning system to die prematurely. This system failure would necessitate either costly repairs or a complete system replacement.

To Convert or Replace Your A/C Unit: Which Is the Better Choice?

The main factor in choosing to convert your air conditioning system from R22 to R410A is its age. Most systems built after 2010 are compatible with newer refrigerants like R410A, so very little transition is necessary. If your system is older, the conversion costs are significantly higher than simply replacing it with a new compliant system.

If you have an older A/C system that uses R22 and you can’t upgrade immediately, you do have options. You can schedule a tune-up of your current system to ensure there are no leaks, however small. This will prolong the life of your system until you’re able to upgrade to an R410A system.

How Do I Convert My Air Conditioning System to Use R410A Refrigerant?

If you’re still set on converting your current system, it’s critical to understand that this will not be a simple DIY job. Conversion from an R22 system requires an EPA certified, licensed, and insured HVAC professional. There are specific protocols to follow in reclaiming R22 refrigerant, so this is definitely not a job for an amateur.

First, a professional must flush and evacuate all traces of R22 from the system, then let the unit dry out completely. Next, the tech must replace the condenser, compressor, evaporator, and refrigerant lines before attempting to add the R410A coolant. All of this, plus testing for leaks and pressure levels, can take well over 8 hours.

Unless you’re a certified professional, you won’t be able to convert the A/C system on your own. That said, parts and labor costs will not be cheap. The money you would need to put out to convert could be equal to or less than a new unit.

What Is the Benefit Of Converting to R410A?

The biggest benefit of converting to an R410A is protecting the environment. R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), a compound that contains ozone-depleting chlorine and is destructive to our ecosystem. R410A is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and is chlorine-free; because of this, it’s much less damaging to the ozone layer.

R410A is also a more efficient refrigerant than R22, as it is much better at absorbing and releasing heat. With its ability to change temperature more easily, it does a better job at heating and cooling than R22. The improved efficiency has an added performance benefit, making a compressor burnout less likely.

In addition to saving on your monthly energy bills, you could make a major impact on your tax bill. Through December 31, 2021, the Federal Government is offering homeowners tax credits for renewable energy home improvements. This tax credit could make a significant impact on how much you end up spending on your upgraded system.

Is R410A My Only Option?

R410A is the more commonly used of the newer refrigerants, but it is not the only one available. There are some hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) that operate more closely to the pressure R22 does. The one that comes closest across temperatures is called R407C.

R407C holds the best capacity ratings compared to R22 and how it functions in air conditioning systems. It also is less costly than a complete R410A swap. However, the exchange between R22 and R407C is not as simple as just replacing the refrigerant either.

An R22 system uses mineral oil as an operational lubricant, whereas R410A and R407c use polyol ester (POE) synthetic oil. You would need to drain the petroleum-based mineral oil and replace it with POE oil to use the R407C refrigerant. Plus, you would still need a certified professional to flush the R22 to use the R407C without issues.

What’s Involved In the R22/R410A Conversion Process?

A certified professional can assess whether your system needs a full replacement or if you can just upgrade essential parts. Then, the technician can install the new parts and begin to dry out the moisture from the entire system. It is imperative that the technician removes ALL moisture and patches all leaks before charging the unit with R410A.

In addition to removing the moisture, all traces of oil must be removed from the previous system. Mineral oil used in R22 systems is incompatible with the POE oil used with newer refrigerants. Any cross-mingling of these oils will cause the system to lose lubricating ability and fail immediately, causing more severe problems.

The most crucial part of this process is the removal of the R22 refrigerant from the system. Because of its caustic nature, the R22 must be carefully transferred, so it doesn’t leak into the air. This requires hours of training to execute successfully, which is why you shouldn’t go the DIY route for this job.

Will This Conversion “Future-Proof” My A/C?

Not necessarily–the average A/C compressor unit has an average life of 10 to 12 years. Scientists are consistently working on creating other sustainable and environmentally responsible compounds for home and commercial refrigerant use. Even R410A has some drawbacks scientists are trying to improve upon for future generations.

R-410A is becoming the popular choice in several global markets, including The United States, Europe, and parts of Asia. However, there have been some difficulties in making it the universal standard. In areas like the Tropics and the Middle East, higher temperatures could adversely affect the high operating pressure R-410A requires.

The dedication of scientists and engineers to creating and maintaining sustainable climate control systems is remarkable. Each development leads to more efficient, energy-saving equipment and smaller ecological impacts. These technological breakthroughs may lead to longer equipment lifetimes, which will be of great help and comfort to consumers.

Related Questions

What can I do to prolong the life of my A/C system?

An A/C system works only as well as it’s cared for, so preventive maintenance is imperative. Have a technician do routine checks throughout the year to check for leaks, refrigerant levels, and wear and tear. Periodic diagnostic visits ultimately cost less than those for major repairs due to neglect.Consumers can also do basic system maintenance within the home. Change your air filters as recommended and clean the condenser and evaporator coils at least once a year. Also, clean your surroundings so that less dirt, dust, and pollen circulate through your home.Learn to listen to your HVAC and know what normal operation and equipment breakdown sound like. Being able to alert your service technician quickly can help mitigate a larger malfunction. Lastly, a programmable thermostat will set an energy-efficient operating temperature that will keep both you and your wallet cozy.

Does my system refrigerant affect its heating function?

If your home has a boiler or furnace system, refrigerant probably won’t be a factor in its operation. Both boilers and furnaces use fuel sources to create heat, which then enters the home climate via ducts or pipes.However, heat pumps use refrigerant as a heat transfer agent to heat and cool your home. So it’s essential to maintain a good refrigerant charge year-round for it to operate efficiently. Just like an air conditioner, a heat pump needs proper refrigerant charges to work properly and efficiently.


How Much Does A R22 To R410a A/C Conversion Cost? ›

The cost of converting R22 to R410A can vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the system, as well as labor costs. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 for a complete conversion.

Can R-22 AC system be converted to R410A? ›

You cannot just switch refrigerants because R410-A and R-22 have different chemical properties. R410-A operates at a higher pressure. If you put R410-A into an R-22 system, the parts will rupture due to the increased force. You can convert your current system to one that runs on R-410A, but the cost will be high.

How much does it cost to convert from R-22? ›

Converting an AC from R-22 to handle newer refrigerants is no longer common. The process is typically too expensive—between $2,000 to $4,600—which may not be worth it depending on the cost to install a new AC system.

Is R410A an acceptable drop in replacement for R-22? ›

R-22 uses simple mineral oil, non-toxic, safe, stable, etc. while R-410a uses a somewhat exotic Poly o Ester (POE) oil typically found in jet turbine engines. The refrigerant used MUST match the oil present in the system, which is one reason why you can't replace the R-22 with R410a in a system.

How much does it cost to replace R410A refrigerant? ›

R410A refrigerant costs $4 to $8 per pound wholesale or $50 to $80 per pound installed. Recharging a home AC with R410A costs $100 to $320 on average.

Can you replace a R-22 compressor with a 410A compressor? ›

No. You can't do that. It probably wouldn't work. Even though you put a compressor in there that's R410A, the rest of condenser probably isn't tested and rated for operating at R410A pressures because R410A has to operate at a higher pressure.

What is the best drop-in replacement for R-22? ›

Description. RS-44b (R453a) is the newest R22 drop-in replacement refrigerant in the U.S. market. RS-44b has been sold worldwide for the past 5 years, branded as RS-70 outside the US. It is the closest replacement to R22 that operates with very similar discharge pressure, cooling capacity and flow rate as R22.

How much is R22 freon per pound in 2023? ›

R22: R22 is becoming increasingly expensive as its production has been phased out. As of 2023, the cost of R22 refrigerant can range from $70 to $200 per pound. R410a: R410a is generally less expensive than R22, with prices ranging from $15 to $50 per pound.

Can I sell my old R-22 refrigerant? ›

EPA prohibits the sale of used refrigerant for use in an appliance unless that refrigerant has been reclaimed by an EPA certified reclaimer. If you have used refrigerant that you do not need for your own appliances, EPA recommends that you contact an EPA certified reclaimer or your local refrigerant distributor.

Can I recharge my home AC myself? ›

If you need refrigerant for your air conditioner, you'll need to contact a professional heating and cooling technician. Under EPA regulations, only a certified professional can recharge your home's HVAC system. You should never try to recharge the A/C yourself, even if you have a home air conditioner recharging kit.

What happens if you put R410A in a R-22 system? ›

Since R410A refrigerant is charged under higher pressure, charging an R22 system with it will increase the force within the lines. The pressure can become high enough for parts of the system to rupture. At the very least, leaks will occur. Mixing refrigerants is not an option either.

Does R410A cool as well as R-22? ›

R22 Is Not Colder than R410A

In fact, R410A can cool a room slightly faster with less energy. Efficient performance is a significant benefit of R410A. However, it works the same way as R22 in absorbing heat to provide cooling. But R410A doesn't make a room any colder than its predecessor.

What happens if you put a little 410A in a R-22 system? ›

Putting R-410A refrigerant into an AC unit that was designed to use R-22 will cause the unit to die soon after it tries to run. Now to be fair, you could technically “retrofit” an R-22 unit to accommodate R-410A refrigerant but that would include: Replacing the condenser, compressor, evaporator and refrigerant lines.

How much is R410A refrigerant in 2023? ›

Cost of Refrigerant per Pound
RefrigerantCost per Pound (Materials Only)
MO99$9 - $11
R427A$10 - $11
RS44B$11 - $13
R410A$12 - $25
8 more rows

Why is 410A so expensive right now? ›

As R22 is phased out, the demand for R410a increases, and producers haven't been able to keep up. R410a is actually a blend of two different refrigerants, one of which is called R125. There's currently a world shortage of R125 because there aren't enough plants to produce it.

Can anyone buy R410A refrigerant? ›

2. Are you required to have a license or to be certified to handle and purchase R-410A? You are required to have an EPA Section 608 Type II or Universal certification license to handle R-410A, but no license is legally necessary for purchase.

Can R-22 air conditioner system be changed to use R 401a? ›

The air conditioners that use R22 are not built to handle the significantly higher pressure that R401A subjects cooling equipment to. Attempting to recharge your R22 AC system with R401A could prove both damaging and dangerous.

Can R-410A refrigerant may be used in older R-22 refrigerant systems? ›

R-410A also functions at a higher pressure than R-22, so new compressors are built to withstand greater stresses, reducing the chance for cracking. If you were to put R-410A refrigerant into a system designed for R-22, the pressure would be too much and the unit would break.

Can you replace R-22 with something else? ›

According to the EPA, there are several ozone-friendly refrigerant options that are available and widely used today to replace R-22. The new HVAC units that are being produced include the most common of them: R-410A, otherwise known as GENETRON AZ-20®, SUVA 410A®, Forane® 410A and — most recognizably — Puron®.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated: 07/24/2023

Views: 5658

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.