R32 vs. R410a (Refrigerants): Why should You Care and Which is Better?

Refrigerants are commonly used in Refrigerators and ACs. The R32 and R410a refrigerants are said to cause no harm to the ozone layer. Moreover, these two have a very low GWP – Global Warming Potential. However, it should be noted that R32 and R410 have a GWP of 675 and 2088, respectively. In conclusion, R32 is more eco-friendly. Before making a comparison between these two, let us get an insight into the usage of a refrigerant.

R32 vs. R410a (Refrigerants)

What is Refrigerant?

All cooling appliances are equipped with refrigerants. Refrigerant is a compound that is available in a gaseous or liquid state. The refrigerant absorbs heat prevailing in the environment, and then it is combined with evaporators and compressors to give cool air. In an air conditioner, copper coils have refrigerants where it keeps absorbing heat from the inside. Transitions from the gaseous state to the liquid state keeps taking place. The heating and cooling of the refrigerant is a continuous process.


Comparison: R32 vs. R410A

Even though R32 is more friendly for the ecosystem, both of these can are less harmful when compared to CFCs. But, it should be kept in mind that these two can actively contribute to global warming. The Government is set to take initiatives to weed the usage of refrigerants. Earlier, CFCs were removed completely after it led to the depletion in the ozone layer. R32 and R410A are members of the family of Hydro Fluoro Carbons. While R32 is di-fluoro methane in its purest form, R410A contains a part of di-fluoro methane and a part of Penta-fluoro ethane. R32 can be prepared or handled quite easily because of the di-fluoro methane content. A notable difference between these two refrigerants is the density. R410A has a higher density in comparison to R32. Due to the low density, R32 is used in a lesser quantity in refrigerators or air conditioners. So, whenever you hear the mechanic say that the AC is devoid of any gas, it means that R32 in a small amount will be used to recharge it. R410A with 2088 as its GWP holds the capacity of contributing to global warming

more than Carbon Dioxide. On the ODP scale (Ozone Depletion Potential), these two refrigerants were rated zero. This means that both of these refrigerants do not have the potential to cause harm or deplete the Ozone layer.

Why is it Important to care about the Refrigerants?

Climate change has been a matter of concern for years now, on a global level. We all have noticed hotter than usual summers and winters getting less cold. Among the many reasons that lead to global warming, the use of AC and Refrigerators is one of the major reasons. As mentioned, CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons (a composition of Chlorine, fluorine, carbon) have been used in the form of refrigerants for ages. A total of 180 countries signed the Montreal protocol that put an end to CFC by the year 1995 and by 2030 an end to HCFCs. One of the biggest reasons for us to care about refrigerants and their uses is the well-being of our ecosystem. We should be conscious buyers when it comes to appliances using refrigerants.

Different Types of Refrigerants

1) R12

The infamous Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) included R12. This refrigerant is said to contribute immensely to the greenhouse gas effect. In the year 1994, R12 production was ceased as a part of the regulation. One of the main reasons for its discontinuation is the Ozone layer depletion and the harmful greenhouse effect.

2) R22

R22 is said to be less harmful than R12. However, it was also discontinued by the year 2021, which was mandated by the United States of America under the Clean Air act. By the end of 2021, it is said to be completely removed in its totality.

3) R410A

This Hydrofluorocarbon is deemed safe for the environment. However, one kilogram of R410A released in the air will have 2090 times more the impact caused by releasing a kilogram of Carbon Dioxide. It is a blend of R125 and R32, both free from Chlorine.

4) R32

R32 is used widely in appliances keeping in mind the amount of energy consumption, safety, efficiency, and, most importantly, the environment. It has 30% less GWP. R32 was used first by Daikin in their refrigerators. Brands like Whirlpool, Lg, Lloyd, Mitashi, Bluestar equip their air conditioners with R32.

5) R290

R290 is commonly known as propane. The potential of it being a contributor to global warming is three times lesser than carbon dioxide. However, it is highly flammable. Godrej is one of the first and foremost brands to equip its cooling appliances with R290.

Can you Change the Refrigerant in an Existing Unit? 

The simple answer is ‘No.’ It is not possible to just change the type of refrigerant in a unit that already is in use. To be eco-conscious, you first need to examine and check the components in your appliance.

Laws made by the Government for the Refrigerants

  • Fittings with a low-loss rate that limits the release of refrigerants are mandatory whenever you need to connect, purge, or even disconnect.
  • Refrigerants should be repaired within 30 days.
  • It is illegal to vent refrigerants on purpose.

Final Takeaway

The core of cooling in Air Conditioners is the Refrigerant. Cooling without refrigerant is not possible. Thus, it is important to know what refrigerant your cooling appliances contain. And it is equally important to know how much you contribute to the environment’s destruction or well-being. Having a clear understanding will certainly help you to make the right choice.

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