Taking a Close Look at the Recent Refrigerant Regulations
Refrigerant regulations are in a state of flux. In the next few years, common refrigerants will be no longer be viable for equipment. The reason for the change is that many products currently have a high global warming potential. Breaking down the new laws and their impact, Boland Sales Team Leader Kevin Bradley joined host Tyler Kern on 10 Minutes to a Better Building.
“On January 1, 2024, R134A will be eliminated. Then on January 1, 2025, so will R410A. The alternatives to replace these have different characteristics,” Bradley explained.
The International Agreements for Refrigerants (AHRI) worldwide agreement set out global action plans to mitigate climate change due to dangerous substances. Now, the industry must look to innovation to produce new technology.
Bradley noted that some alternatives have been in testing and are readily available. Others are still in the testing and evaluation phase. “For medium pressure, all manufacturers were on board to get rid of R134A, and we have other options. High-pressure still has questions.”
The stumbling block for replacing high-pressure R410A is that new refrigerants are also flammable. “That creates more questions about piping and installing it and code impact,” Bradley advised.
Europe and Asia already have the new, more environmentally friendly refrigerants installed. The U.S. is lagging. Bradley added, “There’s not a clear winner yet on the alternative for high pressure.”
For those buildings with older equipment, Bradley suggested they inspect the equipment today to assess the age and leaking. Then, they can build a plan to replace it to fit current and future standards.