Are you ready for the change in regulations on the use of HFCs in your refrigeration appliances?
The European F-Gas Regulation (517/2014), which creates controls on the use and emissions of F-gases, stipulates that the use of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) above 2500, will be banned in all new commercial refrigeration equipment, placed on the EU market after 1st January 2020.
To help our customers understand how this change affects them, Husky have compiled the following Q&A:
What is the issue with R404a gas?
R404a is refrigerant that has been widely used across Europe, in commercial refrigeration, since the mid-1990s. R404a has been found to have a high GWP of 3922.
What are the alternatives?
The available alternatives for commercial refrigeration are hydrocarbon gases, including R290 and R600a, both with a GWP of 3.
How can I check which refrigerant is used in my fridges and freezers?
Check the rating label on your appliance. This is usually a sticker/plate fixed either to the interior or the back of the unit. It should specify which gas is used. If you are unsure, contact the supplier/manufacturer.
What if your existing commercial refrigeration runs on R404a gas?
After the ban, you can still use appliances containing R404a, but you will be affected by the R404a ban, if a top-up of the refrigerant is required. This is normally necessary due to a leak in the system, breakdown or service. At this point, the options available are:
1. A service engineer may be able to adapt the unit to accommodate an alternative refrigerant. However this option will only be available for a limited period and it may be impossible to convert some R404a models. Husky engineers do not offer this service.
2.Invest in a new appliance, which uses a low GWP hydrocarbon gas.
Are Husky products compliant?
In 2019, Husky will manufacture all of its products using hydrocarbon refrigerants only, which are compliant with the new regulations.
Are any more changes coming?
Yes. The use of HFCs, with a GWP above 150, will be banned in all new hermetically sealed commercial refrigeration equipment, placed on the market, after 1st January 2022.
This means that R134a, another gas commonly used in commercial refrigeration, will also fall within the scope of the ban. Customers should note that between 2020 and 2022, the cost of servicing refrigeration, containing R404a & R134a, may rise significantly as refrigerant manufacturers scale down its production, in anticipation of the ban.
So what can I do?
If you’re concerned about any of your refrigeration appliances, the cost-effective route is to draw up a timeline now for its replacement. Modern refrigeration is more energy efficient and better insulated, than models produced even five years ago. Husky make buying affordable, with our 0% interest-free credit scheme, and can even collect and dispose of your old appliance safely.
New equipment is always a considered investment, but it’s a decision that we firmly believe will reward you quickly, through lower running costs, in changing to a lower GWP refrigerant appliance, with improved energy efficiency.