Changing F-Gas Regulations

For over twenty years, R404A has been an extremely useful refrigerant gas in a number of applications, including commercial refrigeration systems
such as those often used in supermarkets. However, refrigeration systems generate both direct and indirect CO2 emissions during their lifetime.
Although an effective refrigerant, R404A has one of the higest global warming potentials (GWP's) of any refrigerant gas, often leading to high direct greenhouse
gas emissions and therefore high CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions over the equipment lifetime.
A growing focus on the environmental impact of refrigerants is fuelling demand for refrigeration solutions that can provide satisfactory cooling performance with a lower
global warming impact. This is propelling environmentally friendly refrigeration solutions to the top of the corporate sustainability agenda.
To find out if these changes will effect you, check out our F-Gas FAQ's below!

Aren't suppliers (or the suppliers' suppliers) just using F-Gas regulations as an excuse to put prices up and make a killing?

The F-Gas regulation created a system of quotas to regulate the amount of HFC refrigerants placed on the market in the EU and the overall quota of a product that can be placed on the market is based on GWP (ton of CO2 eq.). All high GWP products will be priced on their Global Warming Potential (GWP) and their availability. As we have experienced in 2017, the availability is dropping significantly, so prices have to increase.

I have been told that refrigerant R449A is the best solution, but the manufacturer of the condensing units I want to use say I should use R448A, even though they are almost the same composition. Why is this?

Each compressor manufacturer tests its products extensively and will decide on its preffered choice based on comparative tests. This isn't something we can influence as it could be that they are using different materials and therefore seeing different results. We have to go on the guidance of the compressor manufacturer.

So why are we now hearing that 2018 is the most significant year?

Because CO2 equivalent quota is reducing by 44% (including pre-charged equipment). Many popular gases are becoming subject to tight new quotas and RAC engineers are being bombarded by a plethora of change; Prices of the gases being phased out are increasing; the probability of having to replace equipment is growing; potentially more toxic and flammable alternatives requiring more investment, safety measures and staff retraining are being introduced.

Why are these regulations only affecting Europe?

Reducing carbon footprint is a primary objective of the European Union. However, this doesn't mean that other countries aren't starting to follow. We are seeing the United States, Japan and other parts of the world beginning to follow suit.