Why R290 Refrigerant is the Better Choice

Every business owner who has a commercial refrigerator or freezer should be aware of the refrigerant rules and regulations. Given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned with protecting the environment, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the changing technologies that relate specifically to your unit. This is only one of the reasons why R290 refrigerant units are slowly replacing class I and II models. So, why is R290 refrigerant so popular? What makes R290 refrigerant units better than other models? Before we answer these questions, it is crucial to understand why the government is updating its rules and regulations regarding residential and commercial refrigerants.

Why are refrigerant regulations important?

The EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program is the most recent in a series of regulations that have been designed to reduce emissions and prevent air pollution. SNAP requires stricter regulation of class I and II refrigerants used by the foodservice industry. This policy also applies to everything from ice machines to ventilation systems. The implementation of this policy has given rise to new alternatives with low global warming potential while phasing out units that are not environmentally friendly. In addition, the EPA plans to ultimately make these older units illegal for both residential and commercial use by the end of 2030.

Through the SNAP Program, the EPA continues to monitor all chemicals and substances that may deplete ozone. This monitoring helps to determine which refrigerants are safe for use based on their potential harm to our environment. In simple words, the higher an item’s ozone-depletion number, the worse it is for our environment.

What is R290 refrigerant?

The EPA recommends that foodservice businesses should use R290 (popularly known as hydrocarbon) refrigerant. This natural, safe, and non-toxic alternative is not only friendly to our environment but also cost-effective. This means that not only will it reduce overall emissions, but this new technology can also reduce your overall energy cost by up to 28%.

R290 refrigerant units are generally used in commercial settings such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and office buildings. However, they are also used in some residential settings. The reason for this is simple! R290 refrigerant units save you money while simultaneously protecting the environment. They do this by using natural hydrocarbons instead of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These refrigerants still allow for the same level of cooling power, but they will not damage the ozone layer if released into the atmosphere. This makes them super friendly to our planet, which is why businesses should consider switching to R290 refrigerant models.

Why is R290 refrigerant the better choice?

R290 refrigerant is one of the newer alternatives on the market and has many benefits over its counterparts. Take a closer look at few reasons why this alternative is better than class I and II refrigerants:

Environmentally friendly

R290 refrigerant is significantly less harmful to the environment. If it is released into the atmosphere, it will not contribute to ozone depletion as much as other options. What has made R290 an almost perfect substitute for other refrigerants is its negligible global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP). For decades, R134 and R404 were the most widely-used commercial refrigerants. Both of them have an incredibly high GWP, making them a significant contributor to global warming. On the other hand, R290 refrigerant is friendlier to our environment, which makes it a perfect alternative.


We live in a world where sustainability is essential. The foodservice industry must, therefore, also be responsible for maintaining the health of our environment. R290 refrigerant is an alternative solution for the industry that is not just good for the planet but will also save money. It has a 90% higher heat absorption capacity than its predecessors. This means quicker recovery in temperature and lower energy consumption. You will save money while having peace of mind knowing that you are not contributing to global warming.


One of the things that made R290 refrigerant so popular is its ability to be installed into many older models without having to change out entire systems. This means less time and money are expended while allowing you to still benefit from better technology. In addition, R290 refrigerants are incredibly versatile, and they can be used to power commercial refrigeration systems in restaurants, dining facilities, and food trucks.  With that being said, it is evident why businesses should make the switch and start using R290 refrigerant models.

It can be vented directly into the atmosphere.

One of the most significant advantages of R290 is that it can be vented directly into the atmosphere without it needing to be recaptured and recycled. This eliminates technicians carrying expensive tanks and accessories that were traditionally used when servicing older systems using 134 or 404. As a result, this is a more manageable service for them and you will be paying a lot less than what you used to pay for maintenance and service.


R290 also has a proven track record of being easily recyclable, reusing it for other purposes. This is great news for those looking to save money and reuse what would otherwise be considered a waste byproduct.


R290 is also set to be the new standard for equipment manufactured in the future. This means that you won’t have to worry about making expensive upgrades and replacements once the new standards are released and implemented. It allows you to take one step forward towards a greener tomorrow.


R290 is the most sustainable refrigerant and possibly your best option when it comes to purchasing a commercial refrigerant for your business. R290 is a refrigerant that will ensure your units last the longest and have the best environmental credentials.

If you are still using your old model, why not consider making the switch? Your refrigeration system will run more efficiently, reduce your overall energy costs, and you will be doing your part to protect the environment. So, what are you waiting for? Make a difference today!

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