Disruptions in the marketplace have become the standard across many industries this year. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is no exception. Even before the pandemic, the HVAC industry was expected to go through another refrigerant transition across 2020 and beyond.
This pivot is fueled by increased awareness around the environmental impact of refrigerants used in HVAC systems. Local, national, and international governments are continuing to issue new standards around what types of refrigerants are acceptable for both residential and commercial use.
Given the complexity of updated regulations and jurisdiction, commercial HVAC providers are actively working to develop the next wave of refrigerants. The newest refrigerant offerings, such as R-32, are receiving increased recognition as an alternative to last-generation refrigerants.
R-32 is on the rise due to the following key characteristics:
- Low GWP HFC. Let’s break that down: GWP stands for Global Warming Potential, and HFC stands for hydrofluorocarbons. According to the ACHRnews, R-32 is globally accepted and is already used in the United States in self-contained room air conditioning.
- Single component. In other words, these refrigerants have only one molecule in their structures, so they evaporate and condense at one constant temperature for a given pressure. This means it is easier to reuse and to recycle. It is also relatively inexpensive to produce, is easier to handle because it doesn’t separate and utilizes familiar technology, keeping costs similar.
- Superior energy efficiency, high thermal conductivity, and low toxicity.
In an ideal world, the best refrigerant has high safety ratings, relatively low impact on the environment, has low toxicity and low flammability. It’s also important to consider compatibility with the building’s current equipment. Not to mention, consumers are seeking those that are inexpensive to make and more efficient than other refrigerants on the market. There is no perfect refrigerant out there, but many experts believe R-32 checks off more boxes than any other on the market and has a lower impact on global warming than most other refrigerants.
It may be time to update or modernize your commercial HVAC equipment to keep up with current regulations and environmental standards. Learn more about commercial HVAC Retrofit and Equipment Modernization Solutions with Enervise.