Refrigerant Options and Information
As the use of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants are phased down, users need to be aware of the switch to a new standard of A2L refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) of 750 or less. While it is good to know this change is coming, the compliance requirement for the lower GWP does not take effect until January 2025.
This means A2L refrigerants will probably not be used in standard residential/multifamily HVAC equipment till mid-2024. This is the anticipated time frame for the new equipment that works with the lower GWP refrigerants to be introduced. Note: The exception is mini-split units; these are used in limited capacity within the multifamily industry and many
of these already use A2L refrigerants.
As HFCs are phased down:
- Prices will increase on ALL HFC blends as supply decreases.
- Do NOT expect to see replacements for 410A (as seen with R-22).
- Recovering and reusing 410A refrigerant will be more imperative than ever. (Note: Refrigerant is only allowed to be reused by the same equipment owner.)
As A2Ls are phased in:
- Re-training will be needed due to the potential for flammability and new processes for evacuation and brazing.
- Refrigerant recovery will be critial and new equipment may be needed:
- HVAC gauges that read A2L refrigerants.
- Recovery equipment (cylinders, reverse thread adapters, etc.)
- Larger recovery hoses for faster triple evacuation
- It is recommended that systems be triple pressure tested with nitrogen followed by a triple evacuation.
A2L refrigerants are flammable, and for this reason alone, training to create awareness of this danger will be necessary to ensure that the refrigerant is handled safely. While A2Ls are in the lower flammability class and could burn when exposed to an ignition source, they will probably not explode into flames, as other Class 2 or 3 refrigerants may.
These refrigerants will also have different temperatures and pressures than HFC refrigerants, will require the use of different gauges, have different evacuation procedures, and should have brazing with nitrogen in order to work effectively.
Chadwell Supply will offer A2L refrigerant training through Chadwell University beginning in 2024.
Click here to see Questions and Answers from live webinar sessions.
HFC Refrigerants in phase down:
> R-22 replacements
- MO99 & R-438A
A2L Refrigerants to be used:
- Selected by Goodman, Amana, and Daikin
- Single ingredient (similar to R22)
- 675 GWP AR4
- Selected by Carrier & Honeywell
- Patented blend of refrigerants
- 466 GWP AR4