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Differences between R290 and R32 Heat Pumps: Which One is Right for You?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-01-18      Origin: Site


Heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners looking for efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly heating solutions. However, not all heat pumps are created equal, and the refrigerant used in the system plays a significant role in its performance and environmental impact. In this blog post, we'll compare and contrast two of the most common refrigerants used in heat pumps: R290 and R32. By the end of this read, you'll be equipped with valuable insights to help you determine which one is right for your needs.

Understanding R290 and R32 Heat Pumps


R290, also known as propane, is a natural refrigerant that has negligible ozone depletion potential and a low global warming potential. R290 is gaining momentum as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional HFC refrigerants and is increasingly being adopted in various heating and cooling applications worldwide.


R32 is a fluorinated gas refrigerant with a low global warming potential that has gained popularity for air conditioning and heat pump systems. It is considered to be a potent greenhouse gas, but its low usage in HVAC systems - coupled with strong regulations across the globe - has curbed its contribution to climate change.


Energy Efficiency

Both R290 and R32 heat pumps exhibit high energy efficiency levels, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint. However, R290 heat pumps stand out with their impressive performance, with tests revealing that R290 heat pumps are up to 10% more efficient than R32 heat pumps.

Heating capacity

R290 heat pumps boast a comparatively higher heating capacity, making them suitable for colder climates where the need for consistent and reliable heat is vital. On the other hand, R32 heat pumps are better suited for milder climates where the higher cooling capacity is more important.

Environmental Impact

Both R290 and R32 have a low global warming potential, making them greener alternatives to traditional refrigerants like R-22. However, R290 has a better score in terms of environmental impact due to its natural origin and lower greenhouse gas potential.


In some cases, R32 heat pumps can be slightly less expensive than R290 heat pumps, mainly due to the significantly lower cost of R32 refrigerant. However, this difference is negligible when compared to the long-term cost savings associated with R290's superior energy efficiency.


Choosing between R290 and R32 heat pumps is a crucial decision for homeowners and requires careful consideration. While both options offer high energy efficiency levels and low environmental impact, R290 heat pumps are the superior choice in terms of performance, making them the ideal option for colder climates. However, if you reside in a milder climate, R32 heat pumps may provide slightly lower upfront costs. Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific needs and preferences. We hope this post helped you better understand the differences between R290 and R32 heat pumps to make an informed decision.

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