R-454B: A New Refrigerant
for a New Standard

Reducing the Effects of Global Warming
While Delivering Comfort and Efficiency

To address climate change concerns, worldwide regulatory activity is requiring a reduction in refrigerants with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) as part of the Kigali Amendment to the United Nations' Montreal Protocol.1 Based on proposed regulations, it's anticipated that many U.S. states will limit the GWP to a maximum of 750 for HVAC refrigerants, possibly as early as 2023.

Arcoaire® engineers worked diligently to determine the best alternative to the current R-410A refrigerant, which has a GWP of 2088. After careful consideration of several options, they decided that R-454B refrigerant offers the lowest GWP (465) for practical and reliable HVAC applications. And, it will continue to meet potential Kigali Amendment phase-down requirements into the future. 

Today, let's discuss: 


What is R-454B Refrigerant?
The new R-454B refrigerant is a blend of R-32 and R-1234yf. It has a much lower GWP of 465, which surpasses the proposed 2023 requirement. However, R-454B falls into a new classification on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE®) Standard 34 flammability and toxicity matrix. 

As you can see in the Standard 34 matrix below, our current R-410A refrigerant falls into the A1 category with no ignition at/or below 60 degrees C. 

ASHRAE Standard 34 Safety Classes

R-454B refrigerant falls into the A2L category. While refrigerants in the A2L category are considered more flammable than those in the A1 category, the risk of fire remains low. Here's why: 

As an added precaution, Arcoaire engineers will add safety features (which could include leak detection and mitigation procedures) in all systems containing R-454B. 


What Does the Transition to R-454B Mean for Service Technicians?
Switching to R-454B refrigerant should be relatively easy since it operates at temperatures and pressures like those of our current R-410A refrigerant. 

Final details and state adoptions of the 2023 GWP requirement are still being worked out, but new standards are being established and will be added to future building codes. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has developed a "Safe Refrigerant Task Force" to develop requirements for: 


Next Steps?
What are the next steps in the process as we transition from R-410A to R-454B refrigerant? Arcoaire engineers have been working on the creation of a more GWP-friendly refrigerant since 2010. Now, Arcoaire is developing a full product line using R-454B, not only to meet expected 2023 regulatory standards and new minimum efficiency requirements, but to help lower the GWP emissions to our environment. 

Over the next few years, Arcoaire will be working closely with AHRI to finalize guidelines on handling, transporting, and storing R-454B refrigerant. Stay tuned to GoArcoaire.com for more details as they become available. 


1 https://www.clearias.com/kigali-agreement/
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