R32 Refrigerant


HFC R32 Is it Flammable? YES Is it Permanent? NO (2023?)

Is it covered by Standard HSE? NO (needs DSEAR)

Why do we use it ? A good question to manufacturers who stopped supply of non-flammable R410A to promote flammable R32?


Are there better options? Yes and NON-Flammable and safe!!

Refrierants used in a DX (direct expansion cycle) are circulated (not consumed) to perform efficient energy transfer from inside to outside (cooling) and outside to inside (heating). 

The only release to the atmosphere is due to accidental leaks where F-Gas regulation needs to be adhered to as it is primarily and Environmental qualifications for engineers ensuring Environmentally safe handling of refrigerant.


HFC R32 Introduced in 2014/15 has zero ODP gas with a GWP of 675 (Low).

IT IS FLAMMABLE IF 'LEAKED'. Class A2L under ISO 817 and ASHRAE Standard 34 classification.

R32 1st Flammable refrigerant introduced to the AC mass produced industry!

It is not covered by Building & Fire regulation codes.
It is not covered under the current non-flammable HSE. 
Risk Assesment must be carried out under UK DSEAR or European ATEX
  Current Non Flammable A1 class R410A Refrigerant

HFC R410A introduced in 2004 has zero ODP gas with a GWP of 2088 (High). Has a mixture of R32 and R125 (R125 acts as a suppressant to R32 flammability)

IT IS NON-FLAMMABLE IF 'LEAKED'Class A1 under ISO 817 and ASHRAE Standard 34 classification.

Non Flammable refrigerants (A1 Class) has been around for over 100 years

Its is covered by HSE and Building & Fire regulation codes
Has been used in all systems (Splits, Multi Split and VRF) since 2004.
There are no bans (except on sale of split systems with a total charge of less than 3kg by 2025 with
exemptions if there are technical or safety issues) .[see F-Gas ban]


Health and Safety Guidelines Apply to A2L Refrigerant


Dangerous Substances & 
Explosive Atmospheres


ATEX Workplace


BSEN 60079-10-1:2015

Hazardous Area
Control of
Ignition Sources


Labeling is mandatory 
and helps awarenace


Warning signs on all Space Air literature for R32 to meet DSEAR Regulations

Installers / Employers / Owners carry the ultimate legal safety responsibility

see FETA, IOR, BSEN378 or EPEE  

It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure equipment have clear labeling and warning that are transparent to end-users, and emergency services. Building owners must ensure that their insurance providers are aware of the risks associated with flammable refrigerants. All are responsible under DSEAR regulations

Important:  F-Gas does not cover any competency on personal or project safety. F-Gas does not have anything to do with flammable or non flammable gas. It set targets to reduce GWP of refrigerants 

Personal safety of installers for A2L refrigerants require  City & Guilds 6187-21 or equivalent and approved.

Project installation safety requires BSEN 378

See F-gas Bans and LG Recommendations

Q : Can an R32 system explode?  Watch this video (Diesel Effect)

Articals and Papers


- Spencer Fuller is regional sales manager, chiller solutions, building technologies and solutions with Johnson Controls.


- 2014 Fire Hazards of Refrigerants in Air Conditioning Control System International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference

An important website to find out more we highly recommend:




the final solution? :

There two regulations that affect the reduction (phasing down not out) of ALL HFC refrigerants with high or low GWP. 

The  European F-Gas and the International Kigali Amendments to Montreal Protocole.(also called Paris accord)

Space Air Web Site have more guidance and advice to ensure the Correct & Safe use of LG AC equipment utilising HFC R32 an A2L Class (flammable) Refrigerants.


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