R32 vs. R410A vs. R22 vs. R290 (AC Refrigerants)

A refrigerant is a type of liquid, gas, or fluid implemented in refrigerators and AC systems. Without refrigerants, any AC or refrigerator with freezing technology is not possible. The refrigerant inside the air conditioner is present in the condenser coil. The refrigerant helps to absorb the produced heat from the appliances and emits hot air into the environment. When the refrigerant incorporates the heat, it changes its state from liquid to gas, and when the compressor compresses the refrigerant, it returns to its liquid form.

During the AC servicing, you must have to listen somewhere that there is no gas in the machine, and you need to fill it up from time to time. The refrigerant is a gas that requires filling up, without which the AC’s freezing system will not work. R410A, R290, R32, and R22 are famous refrigerants present in modern-day today appliances. Air conditioners include refrigerants with copper coils or spirals. It sucks in the heat inside the room, transitioning a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure fluid. The other AC components assist in sending the gas out of the room through various exhaust outlets.

R32 Vs. R410A Vs. R22 Vs. R290 (AC Refrigerants)

Different Type of Refrigerants

There are different types of common refrigerants implemented in the air conditioners. Each refrigerant comes with its depletion potential factors of ozone for global warming. Let us have a quick look at them in brief.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)

The manufacturing of CFCs R12 was stopped in 1994 year as CFC is one of the primary reasons for global warming and the greenhouse effect. It also causes ozone layer depletion, increasing the temperature of the earth. R12 is one of the most commonly known CFCs and has been replaced with HCFCs after 1994.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC)

R 22 is one of the most famous refrigerants used in the ACS that replaced the CFCs in the late 1990s. R22 is implemented in almost 50% of the top air conditioners of India. R22 is also toxic for the environment, but they are better than the CFCs. It also includes ozone depletion potential and will get phased within 3 to 5 years. Always take a great look at the exterior of the refrigerator or AC before buying. If there is a mention of R22 refrigerant, then do not believe that model as R22 is outdated and is extremely dangerous to the surroundings.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC)

R410A, R134, and R32 are the most commonly known HFCs better than HCFC and do not contain the ozone depletion layer. But they can also cause possible global warming in the environment. R32 is better when compared to R410A but is not environmentally friendly. Most of the Government is planning to phase out even the HFCs in the upcoming years. The HFC refrigerants eliminate the chlorine content inside it. R134A is the most used refrigerant in air conditioners.

Hydrocarbons (HC)

R600A (Iso-Butane) and R290 (Propane) are some of the most environmentally friendly HC refrigerants present in the ACs. The global warming possibility of R600A and R290 is three and implement zero impact on the ozone layer. Both of these HCs come with power-saving properties and are greener refrigerants. The HFCs and HCs are highly flammable and are free from any halogens. There are no cases of any accidents reported where R600A is used.

R410A vs. RS32

Nowadays, most of the leading AC manufacturers in the world implement R32 refrigerants that include a global warming potential of 675. This R32 is three times lower than R410A:2088 in the worldwide warming potentiality. R32 is also more power-efficient than R410A and is used by the leading AC manufacturing companies like Hitachi, Daikin, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, and Fujitsu. R410A is a combination of two types of HFC refrigerants like R125 and R32.

R290A vs. R22

R22 is the most commonly used refrigerant in the ACs all across the world. But due to the high ozone depletion potential, most of the government authorities will phase them out, and we will recommend not to select any AC model that contains R22 refrigerant. R290 is one of the most environmentally friendly refrigerants present in Air conditioners. It includes three effects on the ozone layer depletion and is highly flammable.

R32 vs. R410A vs. R22 vs. R290

Since now, we have mentioned the benefits of all four refrigerants, but the usage of them depends on the ozone depletion and global warming potential. Below are some of the notable differences between all the refrigerants.

RefrigerantGlobal Warming PotentialOzone Depletion Potential
R221810Medium
R32675Nil
R134A1430Nil
R2903Nil
R410A2088Nil
R600A3Nil

Laws Set By the Government For the Refrigerants

The Government of all countries has set some fixed laws regarding handling, disposal, and refrigerants use. Let us know them in short.

  • While connecting, disconnecting, and purging the air conditioners, you should always implement low loss fittings for limiting the refrigerant release.
  • The refrigerant supplying technician and company should include an HVAC license for ventilation, Air conditioning, and heating.
  • All the appliances, including ACs, use refrigerants and should dispose of them according to the EPA disposal rules.
  • You should refill the refrigerant within 30 days from the finish.
  • The intentional venting refrigerants are strictly restricted.
  • According to the EPA rules, the refrigerant regulation ventilation results in harsh punishments like financial ones also.

Can You Upgrade the Old Refrigerants to the New Ones?

You can update R410A to other refrigerants but not to R22. To know the refrigerant detail use, you have to take a look at the ACs exterior component. If there is an R22 refrigerant present in your AC, then you are using one of the harmful ones for the atmosphere. R22 is an outdated refrigerant in the AC that is quite difficult to update due to the following reasons.

  • As per the EPA rules, you are not required to repair the air conditioner immediately if there is no refrigerant leakage in it.
  • All the refrigerant are more inclined to breakdowns and are non-interchangeable
  • The old refrigerants can damage the extra components of the ACs.
  • The R22 depleting stock can carry out the fixing more expensively than the worth of other refrigerants.
  • The R22 can create more noise in your air conditioners than the other Air conditioners.
  • When those refrigerants become outdated, you require carefully dispose of them concerning the harm limit of the atmosphere after separating from the appliances.
  • Mishandling of these refrigerants can be harmful.

You can update the R140A refrigerant of the air conditioner but not in all models. Each model comes with some chlorine amount at the manufacturing time. So whenever you want to upgrade the refrigerant base, then it might be dangerous. Daikin AC manufacturing unit claims to replace all the R140A in their systems. FETA has already warned the customers not to update the R140A to R32 due to some dangerous security risks. They also suggest it is not at all a good idea to upgrade the system that was not originally manufactured by the company.

R410A is a refrigerant mixture of the same weighted percentage of R125 or R32 implemented in the heaters, ACs, and heaters. According to the protocol of Montreal, you can update the restricted or banished refrigerants. You can also find different offers for flexible financing, free estimation, extended warranty plans, and accurate sizing for the best update experience.

Is Leak of the Refrigerants dangerous?

Yes, the leakage of the refrigerants is hazardous, depending on the gas type used. It is an enormous risk to humans, the environment and can also cause extreme damage to the ACs. If you have detected a leakage, then you should immediately repair it.

Wrapping it Up

Refrigerants indeed provide exceptional power to the air conditioners for cooling the indoors. We will suggest having a careful look at the refrigerant type present in the AC before purchasing. An outdated refrigerant will cause a higher electricity bill and will require regular servicing as well. Thus, if you are using any old refrigerant, then it is time to replace or upgrade the refrigerant with environmental ones like R600A and R290 for saving the environment.

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