What Refrigerant is Used in Commercial Refrigerators?

Commercial refrigerators are an essential piece of equipment for any food service or pharmaceutical business. They provide a reliable and safe storage solution for perishable items, making sure that products are properly stored throughout their shelf life. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the different refrigerants that are commonly used in commercial refrigerators, and explain why R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant is becoming a preferred choice. To ensure that your commercial refrigerators run efficiently and last as long as possible, it is important to use the correct refrigerant.

What are Commercial Refrigerants?

Commercial refrigerator placed beside a counter

In commercial refrigeration appliances, such as pharmacy refrigerators and merchandiser refrigerators, refrigerants transfer heat from the refrigerated space to the outside environment such as in cold rooms or a deep freezer. This is done by circulating a refrigerant fluid through a series of coils inside the refrigeration equipment. The refrigerant fluid picks up heat from the refrigerated space and carries it to the outside environment where it is released into the air.

Types of Commercial Refrigerants

Glass bottles kept in ice

There are a variety of refrigerants that can be used in refrigeration equipment, but some refrigerants are more common than others. In general, the industry is now moving to natural refrigerants. 

In commercial refrigerators, R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant is now a preferred refrigerant due to its energy efficiency and durability. Hydrocarbons are becoming increasingly popular as refrigerant because they are safe, non-toxic, and have a lesser environmental impact than refrigerants used in the past. 

Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

Fluorinated greenhouse gasses, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), are no longer preferred in refrigeration systems for food storage, vending machines or commercial refrigeration due to their environmental impact. 


In recent years, industries with cold storage needs, and even air conditioners, have become more environmentally conscious, and they are looking for solutions that will not damage the ozone layer or contribute to global warming. Recent EPA regulations have banned the R 134a refrigerant in the United States due to its negative environmental impact.

What is R290 Hydrocarbon Refrigerant?

Refrigerants are used in air conditioning and refrigerators to transfer heat from one place to another in the refrigeration cycle. The most common refrigerant is R-22, also known as Freon. R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant is a newer refrigerant that is being used in commercial refrigerators. It is more energy efficient and durable than R-22 based refrigeration solutions, so it is becoming a preferred refrigerant. 

R290 refrigerant is a highly purified form of propane that has widespread application in low-temperature refrigeration. As a hydrocarbon with low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential, it has been used as a refrigerant for many years in commercial refrigerators, but its use has become more widespread recently due to its energy efficiency and durability. R290 refrigerant is a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly refrigerant that is becoming the preferred refrigerant for commercial refrigerators.

R290 Is More Cost Efficient

R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant is a more efficient refrigerant than traditional refrigerants like R-22. It has been shown to save businesses up to 30% on energy costs, which can add up to big savings over time. In addition, R290 is a more durable refrigerant, meaning businesses will spend less time and money on repairs.

HABCO Commercial Refrigerators

HABCO products are designed for energy efficiency and durability, no matter the application. We use R-290 hydrocarbon refrigerant because it provides a lower total cost of ownership through reduced energy consumption and improved reliability. This means businesses can rest assured that their refrigerator will keep running smoothly long into the future. Thanks to our commitment to energy efficiency and durability, HABCO products offer the best value to be found in the commercial refrigeration sector. 

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