What is HFC R32?
HFC32* is a new (introduced as a single component in 2015) single* A2L class component refrigerant with zero ODP and Low GWP, but flammable, and requires, extra safety regulation, qualifications, installation procedures, limited application and risk assessments with every installation.
Manufacturers, Authorised Representatives, Importers and Distributors are under Obligations to follow ATEX (Atmosphères Explosibles) Directive 2014/34/EU as utilised by UK Regulatory Guide Lines 2016. They must document necessary certifications. Also Manufacturers hve to follow Machinary Directive in terms of CE marking which include safety precautions in respect flammable refrigerants. All marketing materials must show warnings of flammability.
Installers, Designers, Building Managers and Owners responsibility fall under BS EN378-16 and DSEAR / ATEX
End users and occupiers must be clearly informed, trained and made aware of the risks associated with flammable or explosive refrigerant before installation.....
Marketing, Labeling, Installation & Operation instructions must conform & comply with ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, CE marking. It is the resposibility of Manufacturers.
Manufacturers have moral and ethical responsibility of providing and continue with options to flammables as not every application suits flammables and be honest in their advice.
R32 is not a suitable solutions in the massly produced split market where 96 million sold annualy worldwide. There are better environmently and SAFE options. We must provide a viable and safe consumer choice.
*R410A is a mixture of R32 and R125 - the R125 suppressing R32's flammability.
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.
|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 A2, A2L, A3 Refrigerant
Dangerous Substances &
Labeling is mandatory
UK Statutory Guidance: Obligations under ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU for manufacturers, their authorised representatives, importers & distributors.
Responsobilities and Obligations
Installers / Employers / Owners carry the ultimate legal safety responsibility
Manufacturers / Authorised Representative / Importers / Distributors
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
Is there a choice to buy Splits (RAC) with R410A refrigerant? in the UK NO! with most manufacturers! Makes it unfair to blame installers. Are they meeting their obligations? (Statutory Guidance & Obligations)
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. BSEN378 dictates project installation safety.
Personal safety of installers for A2L refrigerants require City & Guilds 6187-21 or equivalent and approved.
Warning signs on all Space Air literature for R32 to meet DSEAR Regulations
Q : Can an R32 system explode? Watch this video (Diesel Effect)
The final solution?
There are 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 website have more guidance and advice to ensure the correct and safe use of all LG AC equipment that utilises HFC R32 Refrigerants (an A2L Class - flammable).
Space Air Terms & Conditions