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What's the Difference Between Puron and Freon, and Which Should You Use?

Technician checking a Freon tank - Williams Comfort Air Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & More

Homeowners wonder about Puron vs. Freon for their HVAC systems in Indianapolis, Indiana. These two refrigerants seem similar to most, but they actually differ in many ways. Fortunately, Williams Comfort Air understands the key differences between these two popular refrigerants. With the information in this article, we share everything you need to know. 

 

Luckily for homeowners, our trained technicians know their stuff when it comes to Puron and Freon alternatives. The type of HVAC system you have determines which kind of refrigerant you can purchase, but there are many alternatives on the market for you to choose from. Pick a refrigerant with the utmost confidence with the help of Williams Comfort Air!

 

How Do Refrigerants Work?

What exactly does refrigerant do for the HVAC system? Homeowners sometimes have a hard time deciding which refrigerant to go with because they don’t know what refrigerant does in the first place. That makes the Puron vs. Freon debate much more difficult. 

 

Basically, refrigerant cools air during the summer with an air conditioning unit. It takes the heat from inside your home, then transfers it outside. In the winter, refrigerant takes heat from outside and puts it into your home. It does this through pressurizing the refrigerant into a gas that moves freely indoor and outdoor components.

 

Chemical compounds are the basis of refrigerant. Most people call these chemical compounds blends. They start as a liquid, then turn to gas. This process repeats several times, which allows the refrigerant to successfully cool air. In the old days, these mixtures were highly flammable and toxic, but they have improved significantly to abide by today’s standards. However, there’s always more work to be done.

 

Most people know refrigerants as components of their HVAC systems, but they have many other uses. These chemical compounds are used in freezers, refrigerators, and vehicles as well. Because of the adaptability of refrigerant, homeowners think they can deal with refrigerant problems on their own. However, that is not the case. Refrigerant is still highly dangerous to handle, so make sure to leave refrigerant issues to trained professionals. 

 

The Basics of Puron vs. Freon

Though Puron vs. Freon seems like the most popular debate when it comes to refrigerants, it actually has solved itself. The details of why that is will be discussed in a moment. Still, homeowners need to know about these refrigerants, even if they are fast becoming obsolete. The differences between Puron and Freon are significant, so it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons.

 

Freon

For a large part of the twentieth century, Freon replaced R12 as the standard refrigerant. Known as R22, Freon improved upon earlier refrigerants by being greener. While R12 did its job, it proved detrimental to the environment which prompted the creation of Freon. It began production in the mid-90s and quickly dominated the refrigerant market.

 

However, in 2010 that all changed with the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act of 2010 mandated that production of R22 must end by 2020. Even though R22 proves less harmful than R12, it still negatively impacts the environment because of the greenhouse gases it produces.

 

Many HVAC systems still use Freon as their refrigerant, but that will soon stop because production ends in a few short months. Because of this, homeowners with older systems will have to switch over to newer systems that don’t use Freon or try to adapt with alternatives that will likely die alongside Freon. However, there are still some important things to know about this refrigerant. 

 

  • End of production. The environmental impact prompted the EPA to ban production of the refrigerant by 2020, which means it will no longer be sold. This means that companies will not be able to produce Freon after this time. Of course, after that date Freon systems will become obsolete because Freon will no longer exist.
  • Prices are higher. Additionally, the lack of production means that supplies of Freon will significantly drop, which hikes up the price. With Freon supplies already low, the price of the refrigerant staggers over other alternatives. After 2020, it will likely cost a fortune to obtain what’s left of the Freon supply. 
  • Negative environmental impact. Lastly, as stated previously, Freon damages the environment through ozone depletion. Over time, the use of Freon has negatively impacted the environment with its greenhouse gas effect. Even though the consequences are not as harsh as R12, they still cause enough of an impact to permanently damage the environment.

Puron

Puron became the EPA approved alternative to Freon shortly after the Clean Air Act in 2010. Puron vs. Freon debates will soon come to an end because of that. However, Freon systems still exist, so the refrigerant is hanging on for a little longer. 

 

Known as R-410A, Puron provides HVAC systems and other appliances with a refrigerant that is better for the environment. It does not deplete the ozone at all, so it already has a leg up on Freon. Here are some details about the new industry standard, Puron.

  • Environmentally friendly. Obviously, the biggest benefit of Puron is that it has less of an impact on the environment than Freon. As stated, Puron does not deplete the ozone, which makes it a clear winner in terms of environmental impact in the Puron vs. Freon debate.
  • It costs less. Generally, Puron costs less than Freon because it is still widely produced. Supplies are high, and the price reflects that. Because Puron now functions as the industry standard, it must be easily accessible to everyone, which means the costs are low.
  • Energy efficiency. Puron systems are more energy efficient than Freon systems. This energy efficiency not only proves good for the environment, it also means homeowners pay less in utility bills. It’s definitely a win-win!

 

With this information, it’s clear to see that the Puron vs. Freon debate has an expiration date. After 2020, Puron will become the new standard for refrigerants while Freon become obsolete. However, that doesn’t mean Puron has no issues whatsoever.

 

Puron does a better job at protecting the environment than Freon, but it still has some problems. It may not deplete the ozone, but it does have high global warning potential. Plus, it still is not 100% safe for people to handle and is flammable. Here’s some information on how to handle Puron safety.

 

  • Venting on purpose. When connecting, disconnecting, or purging your HVAC system, make sure to have a low-loss fitting attached to the system to prevent refrigerant loss. Loss of refrigerant on accident is fine in low quantities, but intentional, large losses are strictly prohibited. 
  • Disposing appliances. The EPA has specific guidelines for homeowners to dispose of their appliances that use refrigerants. When disposing of an appliance, follow their guidelines to minimize your environmental impact. 
  • Leaking refrigerant. Even if you think you can handle refrigerant issues on your own, do not attempt to fix refrigerant leaks by yourself. Leaks must be handled by a professional within 30 days. Do not attempt to fix refrigerant leaks without a professional.

 

Alternatives to Puron vs. Freon

After learning about Puron vs. Freon, homeowners may wonder if there are any alternatives on the market. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. With Freon quickly heading toward the chopping block, systems that still use that refrigerant need other options. For those with Puron systems, don’t worry. There are plenty of alternatives for Puron too—especially since it’s likely to phase out next.

 

 

  • HFC-32. Also known as R-32, this new refrigerant has been approved by the EPA as a viable R-410A replacement. Unlike Puron, its global warming potential falls right in line with the EPA’s high standards. 
  • MO99. Freon by far has fewer options for alternatives. Still, the options available are actually some of the best refrigerants on the market. For example, MO99 works the best with Freon systems because it comes closest to the chemical makeup of R22. 
  • R427A. Alternatively, R427A reliably replaces Freon. Because of its simplified formula, it retrofits to many Freon systems. Also, this refrigerant has the lowest global warning potential of all the R22 replacements, which makes it a top choice for homeowners.
  • R-421A. Finally, R-421A marks the last Freon replacement available. As the only non-flammable Freon replacement, this refrigerant has almost identical pressure to Freon. Because of that, it easily retrofits to Freon systems while maintaining safer conditions. 
  • Solstice N41. According to refrigerant company Honeywell, Solstice N41, also known as R466A, will be the first non-flammable alternative to Puron. Worldwide, Solsctice N41 has the lowest global warming impact among all refrigerants. It’s Honeywell’s hope to make Solstice N41 the industry standard after the inevitable fall of Puron.
  • R-454B. A strong competitor for Solstice N41, R-454B, or XL41, also hopes to become the industry standard by 2023. Because the Puron vs. Freon debate will soon become nonexistent, there needs to be a new refrigerant to power HVAC systems and other home appliances. R-454B hopes to be the refrigerant that takes that title.
  • R-134A. For much older systems, R-134A replaces R12 in appliances made before the mid-90s. Though systems from that period are few and far between, they still exist and are in need of refrigerant. Further, this replacement does not deplete the ozone and has lower global warming potential than Puron. 

 

 

To homeowners, Puron vs. Freon doesn’t have to be the only option. The alternatives in the list above are greener and more cost efficient than Puron and Freon. In fact, Puron and Freon are both likely to leave the market entirely by 2023, which means homeowners will look to these alternatives instead. With all these options at your disposal, choosing a new refrigerant for your HVAC should be easy. 

Contact Us: Puron vs. Freon Experts

The Puron vs. Freon debate no longer dominates the market. Homeowners across Indianapolis, Indiana can make a decision between Puron, Freon, or an alternative with ease. There are many options to choose from, so everyone can find the perfect refrigerant for their HVAC system.

Williams Comfort Air wants homeowners to feel confident in their refrigerant decision. Our trained HVAC technicians are here to help you make the best decision. For more information on our services, visit our website or give us a call. We offer free estimates on service visits and we can schedule your appointment on the phone.

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