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As many of you may well be aware, there has been a lot of movement around flammable refrigerant alternatives as global environmental regulations push the HVACR industry toward low global warming potential refrigerants. A number of years ago, ASHRAE Standard 34 introduced a new flammability sub-classification called ‘2L’ and these ‘2L’ refrigerants are going to be a part of everyday life relatively soon. Hence this is why HRAI’s Future Refrigerants Task Team members’ have worked diligently over the past several months to bring you more information on this topic as presented in the brochure.  We are grateful for assistance with this initiative from several European Associations as noted in the brochure.

There continues to be an enormous amount of work going on behind the scenes to generate acceptable rules for these refrigerants with the goal of allowing them in as many applications as is safe. A significant amount of research has been done and will continue, with millions of dollars that have been contributed by several key stakeholders.

At the same time, some certification bodies are including 2L refrigerants into equipment that they are listing. A listing by a recognized laboratory is one of the key methods that is used to ensure safety and quality control in manufactured products. It will take some time for these changes to percolate through into the building, fire and mechanical codes, but it looks like “slightly” flammable refrigerants will be on your wholesaler’s shelves in the not too distant future.

There are some code and safety implications for Canada when the final form of these changes works its way into standards. The latest edition (B52-18) of the CSA B52 Mechanical Refrigeration Code, published in January, 2019, now includes an updated list of refrigerants as per the ASHRAE 342016 standard on designation and classification of Refrigerants.

For more information contact Caroline Czajko at HRAI, email: cczajko@hrai.ca or Jeffery Zimmerman Chair HRAI Future Refrigerants Task Team, email: Jeffrey.zimmerman@emerson.com.