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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Mar 9, 2023

In this podcast from AHR 2023, Brandon Marshall from Chemours and Chris Forth from JCI talk about the future of refrigerants and Opteon XL41 (R-454B).

Refrigerant regulations are changing to pave the way for lower-GWP refrigerants, but M1 is also in full swing. M1 refers to the U.S. Department of Energy's implementation of the new efficiency standards for A/C units and heat pumps (SEER2, EER2, etc.). These standards changed the equipment testing procedure to match field conditions more closely.

Opteon is the next-generation portfolio of low-GWP refrigerants for Chemours as a successor to the legacy refrigerants in the Freon product line. These refrigerants are a response to the HFC phasedown outlined in the AIM Act. JCI chose to use Opteon XL41, an HFO, for its equipment due to Opteon XL41's low GWP compared to R-32 and because of the similar operating pressures and temperatures to R-410A.

A2Ls are a permanent change in the industry, and their safety considerations and best practices are here to stay. However, even though A2Ls are more flammable than A1 refrigerants, they are nowhere near as flammable as A3 refrigerants. Just about any refrigerant can propagate flame under the right conditions (including A1s), so A2Ls are only a little bit more flammable than those.

Brandon, Chris, and Bryan also discuss:

  • Brandon and Chris's industry experience
  • The transition from CFCs to HCFCs to HFCs
  • Refrigerant reclamation
  • Upcoming GWP limits 
  • Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs)
  • A2L refrigerant product testing
  • Staying up to date on A2L training resources
  • Some of the prominent flammable refrigerant trainers
  • Smuggled and counterfeit refrigerants


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