Not all air conditioning systems are created equally. When it comes to cooling down your home or business in those brutal summer temperatures, you need the right types of refrigerant. Many people assume that there’s just one type of refrigerant used in air conditioners, but this is false. 


There are three major types of AC refrigerants used in a basic home system. To learn more about which air conditioner refrigerant is the right choice to produce cool air in your home, keep reading. 


Freon or R-22


One type of AC refrigerant you might encounter is known as Freon or R-22. If you want to know if your air conditioner runs on Freon, simply take a look and see if it has a green container. This telltale sign lets you know where and how to restock your unit with more refrigerant. 


More and more, Freon is becoming an obsolete refrigerant, though. Research has proven that R-22 is damaging the ozone layer and is bad for the earth. As a result, more people are choosing to go the way of more environmentally-friendly refrigerants. 


In fact, the Clean Air Act of 2010 made it illegal for companies to continue manufacturing more R-22. You can still maintain an older system that runs on Freon, but it might be a bit harder to find a place to purchase refills if and when necessary. Instead, you’ll have to use reclaimed, recycled, or recovered freon only. 


Freon has some serious health risks for humans too. If you find that your air conditioner is covered in ice, it’s a sign that you have a leak. You should have a Freon leak addressed by a qualified HVAC repair person as quickly as possible; it can quickly cut off oxygen from getting to your body. 


Puron or R-410A


Puron (also known as R-410A) is the alternative to freon, marketing itself as another option among more environmentally friendly refrigerants. This chemical substance is just as effective at cooling the air inside your home but without the environmental side effects. One of the reasons that Puron promotes better air quality over Freon is that it doesn’t contain chlorine. 


There’s more good news when it comes to your air conditioning system if it runs on R-410A. These systems tend to be more reliable, increase comfort inside the home, and work more efficiently. Because of this, Puron tends to be the first choice that your HVAC technician will recommend when upgrading to a new system. 


One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot switch your system from R-22 to R-410A. If you have a system that currently runs on Freon, you’ll need to upgrade the entire air conditioning system to utilize AC refrigerants that promote better air quality. 


R-32 for Low Global Warming Potential 


While Puron tends to promote better air quality than Freon, newer air conditioners are starting to use next generation refrigerant types. While they may be better for the ozone layer than hydrochlorofluorocarbons like R-22, they can still contribute to global warming to some extent. Researchers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to manufacture cool air with minimal effects to the ozone layer. 


Newer air conditioners are starting to run on more efficient and environmentally-friendly refrigerant types like R-32. This air conditioning refrigerant may not be the final stop for researchers who take the environment into consideration, but it’s a marked improvement over Freon. 


Perhaps the most important aspect of a refrigerant that you’ll want to look at is the Global Warming Potential (GWP). Compared to R-410A, R-32 has just one-third of the potential to contribute to global warming. Overall, the performance of R-32 will be very similar to Puron in terms of efficiency but without the negative side effects for the planet. 


The only thing to consider with R-32 is that it does tend to be more flammable than some AC refrigerant. That being said, there are millions of these air conditioning systems on the market today and few have caught fire due to the refrigerant type. 


The Breakdown of AC Refrigerant


When selecting an air conditioner for your home, you need to consider how it will work to keep you cool. You want something that isn’t going to deplete the ozone layer and can be readily recharged when cold air ceases to blow or when a leak springs up. This eliminates R-22 almost right off the bat. 


Instead, you may want to consider going with R-410A. It’s readily available and poses a significantly lower risk of global warming. It will be relatively easy to find an air conditioner that runs on Puron these days, and these systems boast energy efficiency. 


If you want to invest in air conditioning systems that will last you for the long haul and have the best and most advanced odds of not contributing to global warming, then R-32 is the way to go. 


Get Some Help With Your AC Units


If you’re feeling overwhelmed about all the different refrigerant types on the market, let an experienced HVAC system professional help you decide which AC refrigerant is the right choice for your lifestyle. You can get the same cooling characteristics in a number of different ways, so let us help you. 


At Comfort Crew Cooling & Heating, we can help you get an air conditioning system that will last for the long haul, effectively cooling your home for years to come. Reach out to us as your hometown air conditioning contractor to help your air conditioner system function at its best today.