.ctl-bullets-container { display: block; position: fixed; right: 0; height: 100%; z-index: 1049; font-weight: normal; height: 70vh; overflow-x: hidden; overflow-y: auto; margin: 15vh auto; }
Skip to content

Choosing the Best Heat Pump Refrigerant: R32 or R410A?

Heat pumps have proven to be a popular choice for heating and cooling homes. They utilize a compound called refrigerant to enable their functionality. Heat pump refrigerants undergo phase changes from gas to liquid and back with just a slight temperature variation. Some refrigerants consist of a single compound, while others are blends known as mixtures. The current market refrigerant is R410A, which replaced the earlier blend known as R22. R410A is also being replaced by R32 heat pump refrigerant.


How does refrigerant work?

The compressor compresses the gaseous refrigerant into a high-temperature, high-pressure gas and sends it to the condenser for cooling. Once cooled, it becomes a medium-temperature, high-pressure liquid refrigerant that enters the dryer for filtering and dehumidifying. The medium-temperature liquid refrigerant is then throttled and depressurized by the expansion valve (throttling part) to become a low-temperature, low-pressure gas-liquid mixture (with more liquid). The evaporator absorbs heat from the air and vaporizes the refrigerant, transforming it into a gas, which then returns to the compressor for the next cycle.


Choosing the right heat pump refrigerant

The earliest refrigerants chosen were either toxic or flammable. R12 was the first form used from the 1970s until 1994, after which production was discontinued due to its detrimental effect on the ozone layer. It was replaced by R22, which, although less environmentally damaging, was gradually phased out in the United States by 2010 and replaced by R410A. The current choices are R410A and R32 heat pump refrigerants.

Comparison of R410A and R32 heat pump refrigerants

Advantages of R410A

R410A refrigerant was developed in the early 1990s primarily as a replacement that had no harmful impact on the ozone layer, with an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero. Currently, R410A heat pumps are also relatively affordable, with prices comparable to R22. Lastly, it is easier to transport, use, and store.


R32 heat pump refrigerant

The newest choice in the industry and the designated replacement for the standard R410A is R32. It is a hydrofluorocarbon with several advantages in terms of energy efficiency, environmental impact, and safety. These are some key areas determining the suitability of a refrigerant, and R32 excels over R410A in all these aspects. Some of its benefits include:


Compliance with global regulations for manufacturing environmentally friendly products.

The 1987 Montreal Protocol and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol set the stage for global standards in manufacturing environmentally friendly products. New regulations have emerged, and the United States now plans to phase out R410A, while the European Union has its EU F-Gas Regulation of 2014. All of these create further pressure to use refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP), with R32 being the current best choice in terms of GWP rating.


Green characteristics

Compared to other refrigerant options, R32 possesses several green characteristics. For example, while R410A has a positive green characteristic with an ODP of zero, its global warming potential (GWP) is 2088. On the other hand, R32 heat pump refrigerant has a GWP of 675, significantly lower than 2088. Its ODP is also zero. Therefore, R32 is a more environmentally friendly and sustainable solution.


Its composition also contributes to its green attributes. For instance, R32 is a single-component refrigerant rather than a mixture. This factor allows for consistent liquid and gas temperatures without saturation glide, as seen in mixtures. As a result, such systems make recovery and recharging easier, meaning you require less refrigerant in the cycle, further reducing carbon emissions.

Looking for heat pump provider?

Shenling will be the best solution of how to use a heat pump in winter

Efficiency and energy savings

R32 heat pumps also offer advantages in terms of operating efficiency and providing energy-saving benefits. Due to its more efficient recovery and recharging capabilities compared to other heat pump refrigerant options, R32 heat pumps operate with higher efficiency. With improved efficiency, the pump becomes more environmentally friendly and reduces the energy required for cooling and heating in your home. As a result, your monthly energy costs are lower, and you are not compromised by subpar performance.


As a new technology, it is inevitable that the price of R32 will be higher than that of R410A. However, that is the only advantage R410A has over R32, and even then, in the long run, R32 offers better cost savings. You will also stay in compliance with regulations, especially for commercial applications. Aside from these factors, some other reasons to consider switching from R410A or purchasing a heat pump with R32 refrigerant from the start are:

  • R32 has a GWP of 675, approximately 70% lower than the GWP of R410A, which is 2088.
  • Due to its single-component nature, R32 heat pumps use 20% less refrigerant than R410A heat pumps. Consequently, their operational costs are lower.
  • R410A refrigerant cannot be reclaimed like R32, as the former is a blend.
  • R410A operates at high pressures, which poses safety hazards.
  • Because of these pressures, R410A requires thicker compressors and pipes to withstand the pressure, which may affect the design of your house.
  • R410A refrigerant uses polyester oil, which is susceptible to moisture and can lead to acidic buildup in the refrigerant circuit.
  • Regulations are phasing out R410A gradually, making adopting the latest refrigerant solution an investment for the future.

As noted, upcoming regulations may mean that you might default to getting R32 refrigerant. Fortunately, it comes with many positive factors in addition to its green credentials. Therefore, from the start, you should consider the advantages of R32 heat pump refrigerant for a more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and sustainable solution.

Related posts

Related heat pump products

Get Quote