You are on the right page if you are learning to know the difference between air conditioner refrigerants (R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290).
Table of Contents
While you are looking to get your hands on the best air conditioner, it will be only wise to be well informed about all the types of AC refrigerants. The reason being, an air conditioner is incapable of cooling the room without a refrigerant. Also, the refrigerant can efficiently absorb all the heat from the surroundings and lower down the temperature in no time.
Working principle of a Refrigerant
An air conditioner refrigerant is responsible for cooling down the room temperature. In the process of absorbing and releasing heat, the refrigerant alters from the state of liquid to gas and back. Let me explain to you the working of a refrigerant in the simplest language.
The air conditioner compressor transmutes the liquid refrigerant into a high temperature and pressure gas. The refrigerant then moves to the outside of the unit, which is the coil, and releases all the heat through the process of condensation. In this transmission, it cools down. Once it reaches the indoor coil, the refrigerant has already cooled down. It then causes evaporation once it meets the warm air which is present indoor. This draws all the heat from the air, cooling it down. The refrigerant, once again a liquid, moves back to the compressor and begins the cycle again.
In the earlier times, refrigerants were certainly combustible and toxic. However, the invention of non-toxic refrigerants has made the appliance environmentally friendly.
This refrigerant advancement certainly deserves a well-elaborated discussion.
Why is it Important to choose the right refrigerant?
- Harmful refrigerants can lead to ozone depletion.
- Emission of greenhouse gases.
- Global warming potential can be a serious concern.
- Refrigerants can be flammable and explosive.
Air conditioner refrigerants – R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290: Which one is the best?
1. R22 Refrigerant
Commonly known as Freon, R22 is one of the oldest refrigerants. However, its use is not very high now and is also banned in a few European countries. The reason being, it has a high global warming potential and is also capable of damaging the ozone layer. Therefore, once the Clean Air Act of 2010 was passed, most manufacturers stopped using it. Also, the Indian Government has decided to phase out the R22 refrigerant by 2030. The refrigerant’s global warming potential is 1810.
2. R410A Refrigerant
Also known as Puron, R410A has a high global warming potential of 2088. This figure is the highest amongst most other refrigerants. The R410A refrigerant is a mixture of R125 and R32 gases. So, in case of any leakage, refilling cannot be done yourself at home. It has to be looked into by an expert. This means that the cost of repair will always be on the higher side.
The R410A refrigerant can be a safe option because of being low on chlorine. Hence, you can expect a good amount of efficiency, comfort and air quality.
3. R290 Refrigerant
R290, also known as propane, is a new age refrigerant used in the best air conditioners. The refrigerant has a very low global warming potential of around 3. It also has zero effect on the ozone layer and is one of the most eco-friendly options. The refrigerant is highly energy efficient but also highly flammable. R290 is one of the greenest refrigerants.
4. R32 Refrigerant
Last but not the least, R32 is one of the best choices for refrigerants. It does not deplete the ozone layer at all and is not toxic. The refrigerant also has the highest lower combustible limit (lower ignition limit). It is relatively incombustible, however, still mildly flammable and explosive.
R32 is also very high on efficiency and not expensive. Hence, it has become a popular choice amongst modern air conditioners. The refrigerant also has high latent heat. It means that the cooling capabilities are great.
R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290: Comparison Table
|Refrigerants||Eco Friendly||Global Warming Potential||Ozone Depletion Potential||Type of Refrigerant||Flammability|
|R22||Very Low||1810||Medium||HCFC||Non Flammable|
|R290||Very high||3||NIL||HC||Highly Flammable|
What should you look into while deciding upon a refrigerant?
- The latent heat of vaporization should be high.
- The refrigerant should not be toxic.
- It should be non-reactive to lubricant oils.
- The refrigerant should be non-flammable and non-toxic.
- It should be low on viscosity.
- The refrigerant should be low on cost and maintenance.
- It should be able to liquefy at low pressure as well.
One Last Thought
All types of refrigerants come with a different set of pros and cons. However, it is our responsibility to ensure that the use of refrigerant should lower the global warming potential and eradicate ozone layer depletion completely.
The demand for the best AC is increasing speedily. And why not? The humidity and heat are intolerable. Being a responsible citizen, each one of you must look into the aspect. Let us make the world a better place to live in by contributing to this decision.
R32 vs R410A vs R22 vs R290: You are now ready to make a smart choice.
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