Changing Refrigerant Regulations w/ Bluon

In this episode, Bryan talks with Peter Capuciati and Bryan Johnson from Bluon. They discuss how refrigerant regulations keep changing and how technicians can make sense of it.

We've begun phasing out R-22; the refrigerant can no longer be imported or manufactured in the United States. We can still recover and reclaim R-22, but the recovered refrigerant on the market can't meet the usual demand. R-22 went through a phaseout because of its ODP; R-410A has 0 ODP and was the main replacement.

However, refrigerant regulations are still changing, as R-410A will soon be ready for a phase-down due to its high GWP. There are two main replacement options for R-410A: R-454B and R-32 (A2L refrigerants). There is also R-466A, but it cuts out even earlier than R-410A on high-pressure and has worse heat transfer capabilities. Right now, R-32 is perhaps the best refrigerant (beside ammonia, which is toxic), and it's even an ingredient in the R-410A blend. However, HVAC technicians and customers alike are apprehensive about the flammability.

Although these regulations can be confusing and frustrating, the Bluon team recommends holding off from making capital decisions. While regulations are changing, it may not be a good idea to make a definitive equipment swap without knowing the final rulings. As a technician, it's good to benchmark the equipment. If you need to convert equipment, make sure to tune it to the specific refrigerant that's going in.

Peter and the Bryans also discuss:

  • Ozone-depleting potential (ODP) vs. global warming potential (GWP)
  • Equipment efficiency and its effect on GWP
  • R-32 and flammability risk aversion
  • AR5 vs. AR4
  • Refrigerant blends as replacements
  • Converting various equipment designs
  • Benchmarking
  • Bluon support and training

Check out more information about Bluon HERE.

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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