What are the Most Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants?

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Are you looking for an environmentally friendly refrigerant? Before you start working with refrigerants, you must become EPA 608 certified. Certification will help you stay safe when handling or disposing of hazardous refrigerants. You can work toward your EPA 608 certification with the help of The Refrigeration School (RSI). So, what is a refrigerant?

What is a Refrigerant?

A refrigerant is a chemical compound used in refrigeration units and air conditioners help remove heat and humidity from the air.

How Does Refrigerant Work?

The refrigerant starts as a liquid in an air conditioner compressor and transitions into a gas under high pressure. The refrigerant gas flows into the condenser and releases its heat. While the refrigerant returns to a lower pressure rate, evaporation releases the cool air.

Which Refrigerants are Used in HVAC/R Systems?

There are a few refrigerants that are used in refrigerators and HVAC systems.

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R-12 – a chlorofluorocarbon (CFCS) which was banned in the 1990s for contributing to greenhouse gas effects.

R-22 – also known as Freon it temporarily replaces R-12 but will be phased out by 2030 to comply with the Clean Air Act of 2010.

R-125 – also known as Pentafluoroethane, is an ingredient in R-404A refrigerant.

R-134A – also known as Tetrafluoroethene (CF3H2F) is more ozone friendly and was used to replace R-12 CFC refrigerants. However, due to global warming issues, countries have banned R-134A.

R-143ATrifluoroethane, a mixture component of R-404A refrigerant. R-143A is non-toxic and does not cause corrosion.

R-404A – a blended hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) that is nonflammable with low toxicity and is comprised of R-125, R-134A, and R-143A. R-404A works well in low to medium temperatures in refrigerated vehicles and ice makers.

R-410A – also known as Puron it is a chlorine–free refrigerant with higher heat absorption making it more efficient than previous refrigerants.

R-427AForane is a mixture used to replace rR-22 in low, medium, and high temperature cooling and air conditioners.

R-434A – a non-flammable HFC mixture used to replace R-22 refrigeration

R-502 – phased out in 1995, it was used in commercial refrigeration systems.

R-507A – also known as Genetron, it is a zero ozone depletion azeotropic HFC refrigerant.

R-717 – a refrigerant grade ammonia used in low to medium temperature refrigeration.

R-290 – is an eco-friendly refrigerant grade propane that is an alternative to R-22 and R-502, this refrigerant is used in all temperature usage for refrigeration and air-conditioning applications.

R-450A – also known as Solstice, it is an eco-friendly zeotropic blend of R-134A and HFO-1234z. It is a non-flammable alternative to R-134A in medium temperature systems.

What are the Most Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants?

Some newer refrigerants offer more environmentally friendly properties, including

R-32 – significantly more environmentally friendly than R-410A because it has a much lower Global Warming Potential.

R-513A – also known as Opteon, it is a next generation non-ozone depleting, low global warming potential hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) that replaces R-134A.

R-600 – an efficient natural refrigerant suitable for refrigeration applications. It is environmentally friendly and efficient.

Want To Learn More?

Ready to learn more about refrigerants? Because HVAC is a hands-on job, technical training is typically required for anyone to enter this field. Many people decide to invest in a trade program to learn the trade skills they need to be safe and effective as a professional. To learn more about our HVAC program offered at the Phoenix, AZ campus contact us at The Refrigeration School, or call 1-888-671-5803.