50% of the energy in a typical building is consumed by HVAC equipment and in buildings with refrigeration needs this percentage is even higher. Most HVAC systems still use the old R-22/404A refrigerants. All HVAC-R equipment uses the process of changing liquid refrigerant to gas and back again which causes it to absorb and dispel heat in the process. With laws globally phasing out these types of refrigerants, building owners must find a refrigerant that takes the liquid-to-gas change phase to a new level, or replace their HVAC equipment.

The HVAC industry is continually striving to become greener and thanks to innovation and legislation they are continuing to do so. In July, 2016 the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) authorized the import and sale of a new refrigerant, R-458A, under its SNAP program as a replacement for R22 and R404/507A refrigerants in commercial HVAC equipment, retail refrigeration equipment, as well as industrial processes.

Why is it Necessary to Replace R22 HCFC?

One of the most commonly used HCFCs (hydrocholrofluorocarbons) in the HVAC industry is R22 which has been found to have a bad impact on the ozone layer. Increased focus on global warming and ozone layer protection has led to the need to completely phase out this harmful substance. A ten-year plan was rolled out by the EPA for the total removal of R22 from the HVAC market. The first phase started in 2010 prohibiting the import and production of new units with R22 refrigerant with the goal of completely banning the substance by 2020.

Why is R-458A a Better Option?

As an option for the replacement of R22, the new R-458A refrigerant offers customers and technicians the following benefits:

– It has less of an impact on the ozone layer than the harmful HCFCs being phased out.
– It is easily accessible to commercial and residential consumers.
– It serves as a true replacement with no further modifications required before use.
– It improves the overall performance of HVAC systems as well as refrigeration equipment and reduces energy consumption at the same time.
– It has a low GWP (Global Warming Potential). GWP is the EPA measurement to determine the extent to which substances contribute to the threat of global warming.

Staying Informed

It is important for customers and technicians to understand the stipulations of the Clear Air Act, particularly related to which refrigerants are acceptable and legal to use and why, and which ones are not. Having this information can help users make informed choices and ensure that they stay compliant with the regulations of the EPA regarding the use of refrigerants. Students who are current studying to become HVAC technicians should learn this information as they may very well be working with the new R-458A refrigerant when they qualify.

As the phase-out of R22 continues it is important to know which refrigerants are suitable as replacements and which ones are not. For example some refrigerants are flammable like OZ12, while others like R-403B have very high GWP ratings. HFP (Hexafluropropylene) and similar refrigerants are not good replacements as they are highly toxic. Call professionals to know more on Bluon’s revolutionary TdX 20 refrigerant