Best and Most Efficient Refrigerant for Air Conditioners

There are three types of refrigerant gas commonly found in the air conditioner. They are the R22, R410A and R32 refrigerant gas. So, which gas should we choose when buying an air conditioner?

As of now, the best refrigerant gas for the air conditioner is R32 because it is more efficient and better for the environment. Besides, R32 air conditioners have more features than both R410A and R22 air conditioners. Thus, we should get an R32 air conditioner whenever possible.

New air conditioners are using R32 refrigerant gas. R410A air conditioners will soon not be available just like the R22 air conditioner.

Why We Should Use R32 Air Conditioners?

R32 air conditioners have many benefits over the older R410A and R22 air conditioners. R32 refrigerant gas is overall better than both the R410A and R22 refrigerant gas.

R32 Air Conditioners are More Efficient

R32 air conditioners are more efficient than R410A and R22 air conditioners. Comparing with the same air conditioner, the R32 refrigerant is 5% more efficient than the R22 refrigerant and 3% more efficient than the R410A refrigerant.

The CSPF is a measure of the efficiency of an air conditioner. The higher the CSPF, the higher the efficiency of an air conditioner. An air conditioner with the R32 refrigerant has a CSPF (cooling seasonal performance factor) of 1.05 while with the R410A and R22 refrigerant, the same air conditioner only has a CSPF of 1.02 and 1.00 respectively.

Therefore, we can save energy by just using R32 air conditioners. Not to mention, the price of R32 air conditioners is also identical to the price of R410A air conditioners. Hence, why not use R32 air conditioners?

R32 Air Conditioners Have Better Features

New air conditioners are using the R32 refrigerant. Hence, R32 air conditioners have more and better features than old R410A air conditioners at a similar price range. For instance, many new R32 air conditioners have built-in smart control features which allow us to control using a mobile app even when we are not at home. On the flip side, R410A air conditioners don’t support such a feature.

Furthermore, new air conditioners are always better looking, more reliable and perform better. Personally, I will definitely choose an R32 air conditioner in the future when I need to change my air conditioner.

R32 Air Conditioners are Better for the Environment

R32 air conditioners are better for the environment than both the R410A and R22 air conditioners. The R32 refrigerant has a lower global warming potential (GWP) than both the R410A and R22 refrigerant. It only stands at GWP 675 while the R410A and R22 refrigerant came at GWP 2090 and GWP 1810 respectively. The lower the GWP number, the lower the global warming potential.

Besides, the R32 refrigerant does not have any ozone depletion potential (ODP) unlike the R22 refrigerant which has an ODP of 1.055. Ozone depletion will cause more UV light to reach the Earth’s surface and a high UV level is harmful to humans.

As we know, air conditioners are already causing problems to the environment. Thus, we can help the environment by simply using R32 air conditioners.

Air Conditioners with the R22 Refrigerant are Phasing Out

Under the Montreal Protocol, HCFCs such as the R22 refrigerant was scheduled to be phased out. For developed countries such as United States, new R22 air conditioners will no longer be available by 2020. Meanwhile, the R22 refrigerant will be phase out by 2030 for developing countries such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

By 2030, there should be no R22 air conditioners around the world. Although no official statement yet but I believe the UN will also phase out R410A air conditioners after many R32 air conditioners have been produced and adopted. Therefore, we might as well forget about the old air conditioner and move forward with the new R32 air conditioner.

R32 vs R410A vs R22 Comparison

Summarizing the above points that I’ve mentioned, the following is a table of comparison between the R32, R410A and R22 refrigerant gas:

The R32, R410A and R22 Refrigerant Comparison

When the R32 Refrigerant First Used in Air Conditioners?

A Japanese air conditioner manufacturer, Daikin, invented and first applied the R32 refrigerant in residential air conditioners back in November 2012 at its motherland, Japan. In 2015, the U.S. government recognized Daikin as a company contributing to the protection of the environment. Then, governments across the world started to introduce R32 air conditioners to their respective countries.

As of December 2020, there are 140 million units of R32 air conditioners are on the market in the world. However, the R32 refrigerant is not restricted to Daikin only. In September 2015, Daikin offers worldwide free access to its patens on R32 refrigerant formula. It encouraged other companies to help the environment.

What Type of Air Conditioner Use the R32 Refrigerant?

The first adoption of the R32 refrigerant is in residential split air conditioners and heat pumps back in 2012. Later around the year 2014, commercial split air conditioners and heat pumps with the R32 refrigerant were introduced. Then, it is followed by multi-split air conditioners and commercial use chillers.

In 2020, VRF air conditioners adopted the R32 refrigerant. Moving forward, packaged air conditioners such as rooftop units and window air conditioners shall switch to R32 refrigerant according to Daikin’s plan. As of now, many window air conditioners are available with the R32 refrigerant.

Can the R32 Refrigerant Be Used in R410A and R22 Air Conditioners?

Theoretically, it is possible to charge the R32 refrigerant into R410A air conditioners because both the refrigerant working pressure is very close to each other. However, it is strongly not recommended because R410A air conditioners are not tuned with the R32 refrigerant and thus, they might not work properly.

Besides, never put the R32 or R410 refrigerant into R22 air conditioners because the R22 refrigerant working pressure is about half of the R32 and R410 refrigerant and the copper pipe in R22 air conditioners is thinner. Thus, if the R32 refrigerant is used in R22 air conditioners, the copper pipe will burst and potentially be fatal.


We need air conditioners to overcome the scorching heat from the sun in order to stay comfortable and productive. In some countries, an air conditioner means life and death to the people. However, air conditioners are damaging the environment. Thus, people around the world desperately need new solutions to this global issue.

R32 air conditioners not only are better for the environment, but they also offer newer designs and better features at a similar price range. We all can help the environment by simply using R32 air conditioners rather than using R410A air conditioners or maintain using the old R22 air conditioner. Together, we help to make the world a better place.

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Yu Chang Zhen

Yu worked as a professional in the HVAC industry for more than 7 years. He is an engineer who has a passion for blogging. Ever since he created this website, Yu has helped hundreds of homeowners and engineers on HVAC related matters.

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