Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps Air conditioners provide cooling only. Heat pumps can provide both cooling and heat.
Room (Window-type) Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps: Did you know that nearly all of the Energy Star Most Efficient room air conditioners use R32 refrigerant--a more climate friendly AND energy efficient alternative? See the Energy Star Most Efficient Room Air Conditioner list. You can also use the Energy Star Product Finder and filter for room air conditioners that have a refrigerant type with "lower impact on global warming."
Note: for those asking about a new company, Gradient, offering saddle-shaped window heat pumps that don't block the view, their product uses R32 as well.
Mini-Split (Ductless) Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps: Mini-splits are generally more efficient and have greater cooling (or heating) capacity than window type models. The indoor unit is typically mounted on a wall. Mini-splits are also called "ductless" air conditioners or heat pumps, because they provide cooling and heat directly into your space without the need for ducts. Heat pump models even work in cold climates: some can provide heat down to -13 degrees F. Avoid models that use R410A, a high global warming potential refrigerant.
Models that use R32 (1/3 the warming impact of R410A) are beginning to be sold on the US market. Daikin Atmosphera air conditioners and heat pumps are the first models known to the Climate Friendly Cooling Campaign to offer R32 models in the USA. Check back for more models as we update this list.
Central AC and Heat Pumps Check back soon for more models. As of January 2022, the Climate Friendly Cooling Campaign is not aware of any ducted central AC or heat pump models that have switched away from R410A for sale on the US market. Check back for more models as we update this list.
Commercial building models (Rooftop units, chillers, etc.) Replacing or specifying commercial building equipment is a major project, generally involving many stakeholders in addition to the procurement official. When bidding out projects, ask your vendors for efficient models that use low-GWP refrigerant.
The US EPA has listed several low-GWP refrigerants as acceptable for use in commercial products. For example, large chillers can use including water/lithium bromide absorption, R-744 (CO2), and several newer refrigerants with very low global warming potentials, including HFO-1234ze, brand name Solstice® 1234ze and HFO-1336mzz(Z), brand name Opteon® MZ.
Medium-GWP refrigerants include R-513A (GWP=572), whichis a blend of 56% HFO-1234yf and 44% HFC-134a. Learn more at:https://www.epa.gov/snap/
Outside of the USA Outside the USA, TopTen publishes lists of the most energy efficient air conditioners available on the market. 100% of the products on their European Union list use lower-GWP refrigerants (below 750). See this list at: www.topten.eu/private/products/air_conditioners