Refrigerant Types, Difference & Properties R22, R32, R410a, R290.

Refrigerant Types, Difference & Properties R22, R32, R410a, R290.

A refrigerant is a substance or mixture, in an aqueous form, utilized in air conditioners and refrigerators. In most cycles, it undergoes phase transitions from a liquid to a gas and back again. Air Conditioners contain the refrigerant inside the condenser coils.


Types of Refrigerants & Properties

There are some refrigerants we describe here with their properties and comparison also.


1. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons are fully or partly halogenated paraffin hydrocarbons. It contains only carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane, ethane, and propane.


2. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFCs break down more easily within the atmosphere than do CFCs. Therefore, HCFCs have less ozone depletion potential, additionally to less global warming potential. HFCs don’t contain chlorine and don’t contribute to the destruction of stratospheric ozone.


3. Hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs)

R-22 is one of the most common refrigerants. It is slightly better than CFCs. Hydrofluorocarbons are organic compounds that contain fluorine and hydrogen atoms. These are the most common types of organofluorine compounds. They are frequently used in air conditioning and as refrigerants. It has replaced older chlorofluorocarbons like R-12 and hydrochlorofluorocarbons like R-21.


4. Hydrocarbon (HC)

A hydrocarbon is a compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are examples of group 14 hydrides. Hydrocarbons from which one atom has been removed are functional groups called hydrocarbyls.

HFCs (R-410A, R-32, and R-134) are better than HCFCs, but they have the potential for global warming.



R22 Refrigerant

R22 Refrigerant is also known as Freon R22. It is the household name for the halocarbon compound CHCLF2 (mono chlorodifluoromethane). The ‘R’ in R22 refers to the refrigerant and the second ‘2’ indicates the atom’s fluorine compounds.


Initially, the lowest boiling point of -40.8 degrees made it easy to use in Domestic Farm Freezers, etc.

These are all low-temperature applications. R22 is extensively used even today to liquefy gases and provide chilled water to various machines and processes.


One can easily find it in domestic Air conditioners. The component is non-flammable and not toxic, making it very safe to use in both domestic and industrial conditions. Since R22 refrigerant contributes to the damage to the ozone layer, it is now banned. As of Dec 2009, it became a requirement by the law that you must replace any system using R22 that has become faulty.


R22 is known as Freon, and it was one of the top brands. The R22 refrigerant is no longer used in the installation of the new air conditioner as before. It was discontinued after being listed among hydrochlorofluorocarbons, i.e., HCFCs. This gas was contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. So it is clear that your new air conditioner will not use R22 because it is very harmful to the environment.



R32 Refrigerant

R32 refrigerant is the short name for CH2F2(difluoromethane). This gas has less exposure to Global warming potential as compared to R22, and companies use it as a replacement for the same.


A low boiling point of -51 Degrees Celsius makes it perfect to use in low-temperature products. It also is very energy efficient as its refrigerating capacity is much higher than many new products available in the market today.

Despite having considerable qualities to justify the use of this gas, one must operate with care as the gas is flammable.


Advantages and Disadvantages of R32

Advantages of R32 Disadvantages of R32
  • It requires less energy as the low density of the gas helps consume less electricity, therefore, making it very energy efficient.
  • The gas has Zero Ozone Depletion Potential.
  • It has less Global Warming potential.
  • It has less Saturated Steam Pressure.
  • The single component of gas makes it easier to produce and manage.
  • Highly toxic and requires a considerable amount of precautions while using it.
  • It discharges a higher temperature, which can damage internal components. Therefore designs have to be carefully verified to ensure that the temperature discharge is not more than required.




R290 Refrigerant

R290, also known as CARE 40 refrigerant, is a natural or “not in kind” refrigerant. However, it is just a type of propane. R290 may serve as a replacement for R22 and R-502. It’s in high demand because of its excellent thermodynamic performance. It has got zero toxicity, zero ozone depletion capability, and a very low global warming potential.


However, it is highly flammable. Because of this reason, it is not fit for retrofitting existing fluorocarbon refrigerant systems. It has found its use in commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, residential, and light air conditioning. The R290 refrigerant has 99.5% purity with a very minimal amount of critical impurities. Moreover, you will mostly find this refrigerant in Commercial refrigerators, Industrial refrigerators, and Vending Machines. It is a very good replacement for R22.


Advantages and Disadvantages of R290 

Advantages of R290 Disadvantages of R290
  • The gas has minimal global warming potential and no ozone depletion potential.
  • It has huge potential in commercial refrigeration.
  • It is eco-friendly, high-performing, and highly efficient.


  • The gas is highly flammable, and you must take a lot of care while using it.
  • Difficulty in getting approval in fire-rated buildings.
  • It limits the application of the gas due to the low consumption of charge.




Difference Between R22and R410A

When you decide to choose the air conditioning unit, you will consider some aspects; one of those will be the type of refrigerant used in it. So considering R22 and R410A, you will check their properties and many other factors, so let’s discuss the difference between them.

This gas is commonly known as Freon. This was one of the top brands. The R22 gas is no longer used in the installation of the new air conditioner as before. It was discontinued after being listed among hydrochlorofluorocarbon, i.e., HCFCs. This gas was contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. So it is clear that your new air conditioner will not use because it is very harmful to the environment. This gas is often known as Puron. It is hydro-fluorocarbon, i.e., HFCs, and it doesn’t deplete the ozone layer as it is the greenest gas available in the market. Mostly all of the new air conditioners use R410a. In the US, almost all the new air conditioners use R410A. 



Difference Between R32 and R290

So now, let’s see some differences between these refrigerants. Both refrigerants are also used in air conditioners so while buying, you must consider them also as they are equally used in the market and have some different properties.

PROPERTIES OF R290  Properties of R32
R290 is the most eco-friendly refrigerant available in India for air conditioners. These have zero impact on the ozone layer, and it only has 3 global warming potential. They are energy efficient. Also, they are highly flammable. 

So we can conclude that each refrigerant has its benefits so while choosing, you must check all the things and properties also. You must also check that the refrigerant you are using is good for the environment and also check if it will work in the long term.

R-32 requires 30% less charging for the same cooling capacity as compared to R-22 AND R-410. It gives better performance at high ambient temperatures. It also provides 5% power saving and 15.3% more cooling as compared to others.


Watch it.


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