Refrigerants in an Air Conditioner – Everything you Need to Know

Considering how close the summer is, your search for an air conditioner must have already begun. However, if you’re someone who had never had to look for an AC before, choosing an air conditioner can be tough, especially when the sales executive keeps using words like R22 or R410A. Well, R22 or R410A are what we can refrigerants,  a fluid/liquid/gas which is used in air conditioner and without which cooling isn’t possible.

What refrigerants do is, absorb the heat in a given room as it changes from liquid to gas and leaves the gas outside into the environment. The condenser coil, inside which the refrigerant is kept, has the compressor compressing as it goes back to its liquid form.

Let’s take a quick look at the different and most popular type of refrigerants.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

HFCs are refrigerants,  R-410A, R-32, and R-134, who don’t deplete the ozone layer. The same can’t be said about its global warming potential though. However, it must be noted that R-32 is way better than R-410A in this case. While none of the HFCs are environment-friendly, they do have a serious advantage over Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) like R22 which is a threat to both global warming and ozone layer depletion.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

When it comes to refrigerants, R-22 is the most common one. When Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) like R12  were discontinued in 1994 because it was deemed as one of the important reasons of global warming and ozone depletion, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons. In India, R-22 is part of more than 50% of the Air Conditioners.

In reality, R-22 is barely better than CFCs. It has ozone depletion potential and is quite harmful to the environment, what with the global warming potential being 1810. It is estimated that in 4 to 5 years, HCFCs will gradually be wiped out of use.

If you’re looking for an AC or refrigerator, it is recommended that you do not buy one with R-22 in it. It’s becoming outdated, not to mention the harm it causes to the environment.

Hydrocarbons (HC)

Among this list, Hydrocarbons R-290 and R-600A are the friendliest for the environment. R-290 and R-600A’s impact on global warming is 3, while it has none when it comes to ozone depletion. They are also flammable, energy efficient and greenest of all refrigerants.

After reading through about the various refrigerants, you can probably understand why it’s important to choose the refrigerant for your AC carefully. If we look at the news, it’s clear that global warming has only gotten worse over the years. Add to that the ozone depletion that has been the result of industrial pollution and overuse of CFCs, we should consider going for ACs which are environment-friendly.

This is something we owe to the future generation. To give them a word they can breathe freely in, bringing global warming to its lowest and doing away with ozone depletion should be our number one objective. For this, start with ACs with R-290 and R-600A. The more we use it, the more will the demand for supply increase, and the harmful refrigerant will be wiped out of existence.

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