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Chemical refrigerants, which transfer heat in cooling systems, such as air conditioners, must balance four key factors: efficiency, greenhouse gas mitigation, flammability and toxicity.

These factors inextricably work together; increasing one of them necessarily means effecting another. For example, to create a more efficient refrigerant, you must either make it flammable or contribute to global warming. The best chemical refrigerant is the one that optimizes the balance of these four factors—and the best refrigerant at this time is R-32.

Key Facts

  • R-32 has an extremely slow burn rate of 12.6 feet per minute, meaning that one could easily walk away from burning R-32
  • Because R-32 is more efficient than R-410A, less refrigerant is needed, increasing the life of the air conditioner.
  • R-32 has 1/3 the global warming potential of R-410A, the most common refrigerant in window air conditioners.

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