Which gas is better for a split AC, R22 or R410 or R32 or R290?

How do your ACs provide you cool air?

Well, the answer is with the help of refrigerants which are basically in liquid or gaseous form.

But you might be wondering which gases are used in air conditioners today?

If you want to know what is an AC refrigerant and why is it important to choose the right one. 

Then you are in the right place.  

Here you will find all the different types of refrigerant their advantages and disadvantages.

AC Refrigerants - R22 or R410 or R32 or R290


What is Refrigerant

First, let us discuss what is refrigerant. 

An AC refrigerant is a special type of solid or liquid that is used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems to transfer heat from one area to another. 

Refrigerants work by absorbing heat from indoor spaces and releasing it outside. 

This process is responsible for keeping us cool and comfortable during hot weather.

How AC Refrigerants Works 

Since you know what is a refrigerant. 

Now, Let us see how AC refrigerant works

Well, there are 3 vital steps involved in the working of refrigerants. 

1. Absorbing Heat 

Refrigerant is present in the interior part (evaporator coil) of your AC in liquid form. 

This special liquid's job is to soak up the hot air in your room, just like a sponge soaks up water. 

During this process, it changes from a liquid to a gas.

So, in simple terms, the liquid in your AC sucks up the hot air, and in the process, it becomes a gas. 

This helps make your room cooler.

2. Moving Outside 

Now the refrigerant in the gas form travels to the outdoor part of your AC, where it's called the condenser coil. 

Here, it gives away all the heat it absorbed from your room and turns back into a liquid.

3. Cooling Effect 

As the refrigerant turns back into a liquid, it gets super cold. 

This cold liquid is sent back inside, and the cycle repeats. 

It keeps removing the heat from your room, making the air cooler and more comfortable.

Types Of AC Refrigerant

Now, that you have understood how the refrigerant works and keeps us cool in the summer. 

Let us dive into the different types of refrigerants and how they are different from each other.

R22 (Chlorodifluoromethane):

The first one on the list is R22 Refrigerant also known as Freon.

Well, it is considered to be the oldest refrigerant known. 

It was once a superstar in the world of air conditioning. 

It has been used in our homes for decades for cooling. 

But the only problem was that it wasn't exactly eco-friendly. 

That's why it has been banned in most of the European countries. 

R22 has contributed a lot to the depletion of the ozone layer. 

So, in order to protect the environment people started to use more eco-friendly refrigerants. 

R410 (Puron):

R410 is the second refrigerant on our list. 

The R22 refrigerant was successfully replaced by it.

However, there was a drawback. 

Compared to other refrigerants, this one works at higher pressures.

So it wasn't appropriate for all kinds of air conditioners. 

Moreover, because it has a combination of R125 and R32, refilling it is quite challenging.

However, this refrigerant is energy-efficient and suitable with contemporary air conditioning units.

But, from 2022 to 2036, the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) must be reduced by 85%, according to the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which was passed in 2020.

It substitutes alternative refrigerants for R-410A, which contains HFC R-125.

I would also like to add that it has the largest potential to cause global warming.

R32 (Difluoromethane):

R32 refrigerant is also known as Difluoromethane. 

Well, it is a non-toxic, colorless, and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant. 

If you compare it with other refrigerants like R-410A.

Then you can determine that its global warming potential (GWP) is lower at 675. 

It is a great option if you want a large cooling capacity.

Moreover, it is highly energy-efficient and less expensive to produce making it a popular choice among modern air conditioners. 

R-32 is utilized in industrial refrigeration systems, as well as in home and commercial air conditioning systems.

Moreover, R-32 is a single-component refrigerant, that makes recycling and recovery easier. 

R290 (Propane):

Last but not the least.

R-290 which is a hydrocarbon refrigerant that makes it different from other refrigerants.

This refrigerant has a very low global warming potential (GWP) of 3.3, making it non-toxic. 

It is one of the most eco-friendly refrigerants on the market right now. 

It has a large cooling capacity and is energy-efficient as well. 

This refrigerant has been used in Industrial refrigeration systems, and household as well as commercial air conditioning systems.

The only drawback is that it is a highly flammable refrigerant that needs to be handled carefully. 

It's also crucial to remember that R-290 cannot be used with conventional air conditioning and refrigeration systems made to work with R-22 or R-410A refrigerants.

So, when you hear "R290," think of it as the eco-friendly coolant that cools your space efficiently and helps take care of our planet. 

It's a win-win for you and the Environment.

R22  vs R410 vs R32 vs R290 - Comparison Table

R22  vs R410 vs R32 vs R290 - Comparison Table

Why You Should Choose The Right AC Refrigerant

Let's now discuss the significance of selecting the appropriate refrigerant.

Energy Saving: Using the proper refrigerant can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Consider it similar to increasing your car's mileage per gallon. It implies that you maintain your composure without wasting money or energy.

Environment Friendly: Certain refrigerants, such as the older ones that damage the ozone layer, can have negative effects on the environment. Using an environmentally friendly refrigerant contributes to maintaining clean air and a safe planet.

Safety: It is very important, particularly in the event of a leak. If you use the proper refrigerant, there won't be any risks for you, your family, or the maintenance technician.

Regulations: There are rules and regulations about which refrigerants can be used. You want to make sure your AC is using one that's approved and won't get you into any trouble.

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