Does Refrigerant Type Matter (And If So, Which One Should I Use)?

Does Refrigerant Type Matter (And If So, Which One Should I Use)?

Yes, go for R290 (propane) or R744 (carbon dioxide).

Many refrigerants have a dangerously high global warming potential (GWP); this becomes a problem if they leak or are dumped. Fortunately, the simplicity and (relatively) small size of residential heat pumps means that you won’t be facing serious problems yourself.

However, it’s important to know that many common refrigerants are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), all of which have very high GWPs.

Stay away from refrigerants such as R134a, which has a stunning 1430 GWP - Instead, use low-GWP refrigerants such as hydrocarbons (propane, or R290, GWP 3.3) or carbon dioxide (R744, GWP 1). Since Australia has begun a phase-down of HFCs, finding earth-friendly refrigerants is easier than ever. Hot water heat pump brands already using these environmentally safer refrigerants include Sanden and Reclaim.

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