Air conditioners use different refrigerants, not “gases,” to cool indoor spaces. The type of refrigerant used in an air conditioner depends on the specific model and its age, as the industry has transitioned from older refrigerants to more environmentally friendly options. Here are some of the common refrigerants used in air conditioners:
Which Gas is Used in AC
- R-22 (Freon): This refrigerant was widely used in older air conditioning systems but is being phased out due to its harmful effects on the environment. R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and is known for its ozone-depleting potential. Production and import of R-22 have been significantly reduced, and it’s being replaced by more eco-friendly alternatives.
- R-410A (Puron): R-410A is one of the most common refrigerants used in modern air conditioners. It is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant and is known for its higher cooling efficiency and being more environmentally friendly compared to R-22. Newer air conditioning systems typically use R-410A.
- R-32: R-32 is another HFC refrigerant that is gaining popularity in newer air conditioning systems. It has a lower global warming potential (GWP) than R-410A, making it a more environmentally friendly option. R-32 is known for its high energy efficiency and is used in some high-end air conditioners.
- R-134a: While more commonly used in automotive air conditioning systems, R-134a is also used in some smaller residential air conditioners. It’s an HFC refrigerant and has a lower GWP compared to R-22 but higher than R-410A and R-32.
It’s important to note that the use of certain refrigerants, particularly those with high ozone-depleting potential like R-22, is being phased out in many countries due to environmental concerns. Regulations are in place to encourage the transition to more environmentally friendly refrigerants like R-410A and R-32. When purchasing or servicing an air conditioner, it’s essential to be aware of the refrigerant it uses and comply with relevant regulations and guidelines for its safe handling and disposal.