R-410A vs. R-32 Refrigerant: Which is Better for My Florida Home?

July 11, 2022

NOTE: AC systems with R-32 refrigerant are slowly being introduced. Some areas will not have access to them due to manufacturing pipelines until 2025.

First off, this question only applies to homeowners who are ready to replace their existing AC system. Due to serious safety risks, a technician cannot retrofit your current AC system to use R-32.

If you’re in the market for a new AC, this is a great question to ask. Our answer? In most cases, R-32 refrigerant is more:

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Cost-efficient

It’s also important to note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may completely phase out the usage of R-410A in new systems by as early as 2025.

In this article, we’ll explain why R-32 is better for the environment and your budget (and why R-410A is getting “the boot”). Plus, we’ll share some other factors to consider if you’re ready to install a new air conditioner.

Have more questions about your new air conditioner?

If you live in the Southwest Florida area, trust Advanced Air to provide honest information about the AC system that works best for your budget and cooling needs. And when you’re ready to install a new system, we can help too. We provide free in-home estimates and 5-star AC installation services from highly-trained technicians.

First, a quick lesson on refrigerants…

R-22 refrigerant is harmful to the ozone layer.

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your AC system and works in a closed loop. It is the medium that absorbs heat from inside your home and carries heat to your outdoor unit. Then, it dumps the heat into the outdoor air, chilling the air that gets pushed back into your home.

While refrigerant plays a vital role in your comfort levels, it also plays a role in global warming. Most refrigerants contribute to global warming because they deplete the earth’s ozone layer. In fact, one older and particularly harmful refrigerant type, R-22 (also known as Freon), has already been banned from production. When the EPA phased out R-22 from production and use, R-410A (also known as Puron) was introduced as a less harmful alternative refrigerant.

R-32 has entered the scene and is a better alternative to its predecessor, R-410A. It should be widely available by 2025.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between R-410A and R-32.

R-410A vs. R-32: Which is more environmentally friendly?

Researchers use Global Warming Potential to study how a refrigerant will affect the planet.

Compared to R-410A, R-32 is a more environmentally-friendly refrigerant.

A refrigerant’s environmental impact is measured primarily by two things:

  1. Its Global Warming Potential (GWP): Researchers use GWP to measure the long-term impact a gas will have on global warming. Typically, they will look at a time period of 100 years when measuring the GWP of a refrigerant.
  1. Its Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP): The ODP measures how much a gas can cause the ozone layer to degrade compared to trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), which has a baseline ODP of 1. A high ODP score means that a refrigerant can cause significant degradation.

In short, the lower the GWP and ODP, the less harmful a refrigerant is to the environment.

Here’s a quick comparison between R-410A and R-32 based on their GWP and ODP measurements.

Refrigerant Type100-year GWPODP

As you can see, R-410 has a much higher GWP and is, therefore, more harmful to the environment. Because of this, most countries intend to phase out R410A by 2025.

R-410A vs. R-32: Which is better for my budget?

Save money by switching to R-32 refrigerant.

Generally speaking, R-32 is more cost effective and can lower monthly energy bills.

R-32 has a higher pressure ratio than R-410A. Basically, a higher pressure ratio means the refrigerant can cool more with less refrigerant, which also means less electricity is required for the system to cool your home.

While reports vary, some professionals estimate that R-32 systems use roughly 20% less energy than systems using older refrigerants. The monthly savings associated with an R-32 system can be quite substantial throughout a system's lifespan.

Other factors to consider

An AC with a high-SEER rating will be more energy efficient for your home.

If you’re ready for a new air conditioner, consider the following factors when determining what kind of system is best for you.

Size of the system

You’ll want to make sure that your new system is correctly sized for your home’s cooling needs. If you get an oversized or undersized AC, you could end up paying significantly more in monthly energy bills. Plus, it can impact your overall comfort since it won’t effectively cool your home. Lastly, it typically has a shorter lifespan than a properly-sized AC.

Efficiency level of the system

Every AC system has a SEER rating (stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) that measures how much energy a system requires to cool your home per hour. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system and the lower your energy bills will be. The minimum SEER rating in Florida is 14, but systems with SEER ratings up to 20+ are available. It’s important to have a professional help you calculate what SEER rating will provide optimal savings based on your home’s needs.

Contractor you hire to install your system

Long story short, you can purchase the most efficient R-32 AC system on the market, but an incorrect installation can severely decrease the benefits of one. That’s why it’s important to choose a highly-trained contractor with years of experience installing air conditioners in Southwest Florida.

Yes, higher-quality contractors may charge more for their installation services, but they will ensure that your AC system is accurately sized and expertly installed, and they’ll treat you well from start to finish.

Ready for a new AC system? Trust Advanced Air

Contact Advanced Air for great recommendations on AC systems that use R-32 refrigerant.

Advanced Air has the most 5-star ratings of any AC installation company in Southwest Florida. Note: AC systems with R-32 refrigerant may not be widely available in our area until 2025 due to vendor stock. When it comes to your new AC, we can answer all of your refrigerant questions honestly and help you choose the AC system that matches your cooling needs and budget.

Our AC installation services come with free in-home estimates, flexible financing options, and a solid 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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