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Understanding R-32 Refrigerant

Learn about R-32 refrigerant and how it fits into the history of AC refrigerants and the quest for sustainability.

What is R-32 Refrigerant?

R-32 refrigerant, also known as difluoromethane, is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a low global warming potential (GWP). It also has a 0 ozone depletion potential (ODP).

R-32 is considered to be a more sustainable alternative to older refrigerants such as R-22 which has a high GWP level. Federal mandates require high-GWP refrigerants to be phased out due to their harmful effects on the ozone layer.

More Efficient

In addition to having a lower impact on the environment, R-32 is also more energy efficient than older refrigerants, which can lead to cost savings and a reduction in carbon emissions. That’s a win for your wallet and a win for the environment.

The Refrigerant Transition

The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase down the production and consumption of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling equipment. This phasedown began in 2022 with a 90% production allowance (meaning businesses must reduce HFC-derived CO2 emissions to 90% of baseline values) that drops to 15% by 2036 and beyond.  

After countless hours of research, Trane is transitioning to using R-454B refrigerant and R-32 refrigerant in our residential cooling systems, using a phased-in approach. These refrigerants are more sustainable with a low global warming potential (GWP) and 0 ozone depletion potential (ODP).

It’s all part of our commitment to a greener, more sustainable future. Read this article on the refrigerant transition for a more thorough explanation of the science behind the change.

What kind of refrigerant does your cooling unit use?

Your owner’s manual will say what refrigerant your HVAC system uses. If you can’t find the manual, contact the HVAC company that provides you with repair services. They will know what refrigerant your unit requires.

What if my AC unit or heat pump uses an older refrigerant?

If your HVAC system still uses R-22 or R-410A, you don’t need to replace or stop using your system right away. The EPA’s plan to phase out these harmful refrigerants stretches out into the next decade. That will allow you to switch to more sustainable refrigerants at a time that makes sense with your system.

Right now, an HVAC professional with a supply of these older refrigerants can still maintain and service your HVAC system. Keep in mind that the supply of reclaimed/recycled R-22 is dwindling, but the supply of R-410A should be ample for years to come. 

Questions about the various refrigerants and how they will affect your HVAC system now and in the future? Check out our resources guide, or contact a Trane Comfort Specialist.

Contact a local dealer

Dealers can answer questions, help you find the right products for your home, and repair your system.

We’re here to help

Connect with our Customer Care team about your products, warranties, and dealer concerns.

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