Safe Use of Mildly Flammable Refrigerant R32 Print

What is a refrigerant?

Refrigerants are substances which produce cooling effect through their physical properties used in refrigerators, air-conditioning equipment and dehumidifiers.

Development of refrigerants

Most air-conditioning equipment available for sale in the UK market today, uses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as the refrigerant which are neither flammable nor ozone depleting and are compliant with the existing relevant safety and environmental statutory requirements.

However, HFCs have high global warming potential (GWP). Their emission into the atmosphere would negatively impact global warming. Under the EU F-gas Regulation, high GWP refrigerant will be phased-down with a target of 79% phase down by 2020.

In response to the EU F-gas Regulation there has been an increasingly widespread use of some low GWP and mildly flammable refrigerants in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems around the world in recent years. If domestic air-conditioners using mildly flammable refrigerants are to be installed, the international safety standards on room specifications and refrigerant capacity restriction must be observed. Consumers need to be aware of which kind of refrigerants is used in the air-conditioner by reading its energy label.

Currently, EcoAir is doing its part to address the global warming issue in joining Daikin and Mitsubishi to select the refrigerant of choice, the R32, a mildly flammable refrigerant difluoromethane in our new range of domestic air-conditioners.

The GWP of R32 refrigerant is 675, much lower than R134a and R410A refrigerants which are at 1,430 and 2,088 respectively.

R32 refrigerant is one of the 18 HFCs which is subject to control based on its GWP as specified at the Montreal Protocol, and it will ultimately be phased out, when more, new lower GWP refrigerant is developed.

How to tell if an air-conditioner is using mildly flammable refrigerant?

The current models with R32 are Crystal Portable Air Conditioner, Gelo Portable Air Conditioner and X Series Split Air Conditioner. These machines will bear the following label:

Safety tips for your Split Air
Safety tips for your Portable Air Conditioner F-Gas Infographic