During the servicing of your AC, you must have listened about the filling up of gas in your AC from the service person. Actually, this gas is the refrigerant of an AC filled in the condenser coils without which the freezing system of an AC cannot work. R32, R410A, R22, R290 are the names of these air conditioner refrigerants. These are one of the essential factors like other factors related to Air conditioners which we will know in detail in this article.
What Is Refrigerant In An AC?
The refrigerants in an AC are in a gas/liquid/fluid form to make the air conditioning possible. These refrigerants are contained within the copper coils of the AC cool and dehumidify the indoor air of the room.
The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the room and transitions from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid and leaves the hot air outside of the room. Again it transitions back to liquid when the compressor of the AC compresses. This cycle repeats.
Types Of The Refrigerants
Over the years there are some most common types of refrigerants used in Air conditioners. Each refrigerant has its own ozone depletion potential factors towards global warming. Let’s know about them in brief.
1. CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons
CFCs are one of the main reasons for the depletion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse gas effect. R12 was the most common CFC known as Feron which was a brand name by DuPont. which was banned in 1994 and replaced with HCFCs.
2. HCFCs or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons
R22 is the most common HCFC used in 50-60% air conditioners in India as of now. HCFCs are a little better than CFCs because they contain chlorine which is dangerous for the green environment.
Due to their potential to ozone depletion, the HCFCs will be phased out from India by 2030 as per the plan of Indian Government. Do not forget to have a look at the exterior component of an AC or Refrigerator when you are going to buy any of it. If you will see R22 is mentioned there do not buy that product. Because they will be phased out very soon.
3. HFCs or Hydrofluorocarbons
The HFC refrigerant gets created by the manufacturers to remove the chlorine from the refrigerant. The refrigerants are better than the HCFCs and do not deplete the ozone layer though they have also the potential for global warming.
R-32 and R-410A are the most common HFCs used in the air conditioners in India. R-134A is the HFC used in the refrigerators in India. In coming years the Govt of India has planned to phase out the HFC refrigerants.
4. HC or Hydrocarbons
HC or Hydrocarbon refrigerants are the most used refrigerants in the Air conditioners in the Indian market nowadays. R-290 and R-600A are the HCs whose chemical names are Propane for R-290 and Iso-Butane for R600A.
These are the most eco-friendly refrigerants and completely free from halogen. They have the lowest potential for global warming and have no ozone depletion potential.
These refrigerants are the hydrocarbon thereby highly flammable but have no reported incidents of any accidents yet. They have high energy efficiency and are also the greenest refrigerants now available in the market.
R-32 V/S R-410A V/S R-22 V/S R-290
As we have mentioned above the best quality of the refrigerants depends upon their global warming potential and the ozone depletion potential as well. To clear the difference between all these refrigerants follow the table below.
|REFRIGERANT||OZONE DEPLETION POTENTIAL||GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL POTENTIAL|
R-32 V/S R410A
- Nowadays most of the air conditioner manufacturers in India are using the refrigerant R-32 in the Air Conditioners which has a global warming potential of 675.
- This refrigerant is 3 times lower than the global warming potential than the R-410A: 2088.
- R-32 is more energy-efficient than R410A also and used in some of the best inverter AC.
- Nowadays most of the Air conditioners of the leading companies are using this eco-friendly refrigerant are Daikin, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Sharp.
- R-410A refrigerant is a mixture of two HFC refrigerants like R-32 and R-125.
R-22 V/S R-290A
As we have mentioned above, R22 is the most common HCFC used in 50-60% air conditioners in India as of now. Due to their potential to ozone depletion, the HCFCs will be phased out from India by 2030 as per the plan of Indian Government. Therefore, it is recommended not to purchase the air conditioner in which you will see R22 is mentioned there.
R-290 is the most eco-friendly refrigerant available in India for the air conditioners. These refrigerants have a zero impact on the ozone layer and have only 3 of global warming potential. R-290 refrigerants are energy efficient and the greenest refrigerants. But these refrigerants are highly flammable.
Government Laws For The Refrigerants
The Govt has fixed some laws regarding the using, handling, and disposal of refrigerants. Let’s know about them in brief.
- While purging, connecting, and disconnecting the air conditioners, there is a rule to use low-loss fittings to limit the releasing of refrigerants.
- It is a rule to repair the refrigerants within 30 days.
- To purchase the refrigerants a company and the technicians must have a license of HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
- The intentionally venting refrigerants are strictly prohibited.
- The appliances including the air conditioners use the refrigerants must be disposed of according to the disposal rules of EPA.
- As per the rules of EPA, the violation of the refrigerant regulation may result in harsh punishments including financial punishment also.
Is It Possible To Upgrade The Refrigerants?
You can upgrade an R-410A refrigerant but not to an R-22 refrigerant. To know about the use of the refrigerant in your air conditioner you have to look at the exterior component of the AC. You can see the refrigerant name mentioned there.
If it is a refrigerant of R-22 you are using one of the most harmful and hazardous refrigerants towards the environment.
It is the outdated refrigerant in your AC which is difficult to upgrade because of:
- As per the rules, EPA does not require you to upgrade your AC immediately if the equipment does not spring a refrigerant leakage.
- The depleting supplies of R-22 refrigerant could make the repairing more costly than it’s worth.
- These refrigerants make your AC generate more noise.
- They are not interchangeable and more prone to breakdowns.
- These refrigerants can damage and destroy the other parts of your Air conditioner.
- The mishandling of these coolants can be dangerous.
- When these refrigerants get old they need to be safely disposed of to limit the damage of the environment after they removed from your Air conditioner.
You can upgrade an R-410A refrigerant in an Air conditioner but not in all the systems. you can upgrade it but you need some other criteria which your system must-have. Actually, each system has a basic amount of carbon at the time of manufacturing. So when you try to change this refrigerant base it may be dangerous. Nowadays in Japan, only Daikin is claiming to replace R410-A in Air Conditioning systems.
FETA has warned that not to upgrade the R410-A refrigerants to R32 because of some serious safety risks. It has stated that it is not at all a good practice to charge a system with a refrigerant that the system was not originally designed to use.
Actually, R-410A refrigerant is a mixture of the same wt percentage of R32/R125 which is widely used in ventilators, heaters, and Air Conditioners whereas the R32 is pure fluid. According to the Montreal protocol, you can upgrade only the banished or restricted refrigerants.
You can find variable offers for free estimation, flexible financing, accurate sizing, and extended warranty plans for the best upgrading experience.
It is true that the refrigerants give your AC the power to cool your indoors but it is advisable to have a look at the type of refrigerant when you are going to purchase an AC. An out phased refrigerant will make your electric bill higher and you will face difficulties for the regular servicing of the equipment as well. So, now it is the time to replace your system or upgrade the refrigerant to save our environment.