R-452A

RefrigerantHQ's Pressure Charts

One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing a home air conditioner, refrigerator, a vehicle’s air conditioner, or a commercial cooler is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that the system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat  numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.

After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they are stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having  and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.

But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.

R-452A XP44 Basic Info & PT Chart

R-452A is a newer refrigerant that falls into the Hydrofluoroolefins classification family (HFOs). It can also be found under the Opteon XP44 brand name from Chemours. It is a zeotropic blend of R-1234yf (30%), R-32 (11%), and R-125 (59%). This refrigerant was designed to be an alternative to the extremely high Global Warming Potential refrigerants R-404A and R-507. R-452A closely matches the performance and energy efficiency of R-404A. You’ll also find that the compressor discharge temperature nearly matches when compared to R-404A/R-507 systems in both low and medium temperature applications.

While this newer refrigerant can be used in various commercial/industrial refrigeration, condensing units, and stand alone plug-ins you are most likely to find this refrigerant being used in transport refrigeration. These are your refrigerated trucks, vans, or reefer containers. This niche application is forgotten by a lot of folks but the sheer amount of refrigerated trucks that are out there is staggering. Think about it for a moment. All of the meat, dairy, and any other cold groceries are delivered by these refrigerated trucks. All of the meat being transported from processing plant to distributor use a refrigerated truck. Heck, even the ice cream truck that rolls down your neighborhood falls under this application.

452A XP44 is ideal for newer applications but can also be used for retrofits of existing systems. It uses POE oil so in most cases you’ll find that you do not even need to swap the oil as R-404A uses POE as well. The refrigerant is also rated with an A1 safety rating from ASHRAE. What that means is that it is non-flammable and non-toxic just like R-404A is rated.

I had mentioned earlier that the idea behind this refrigerant was to provide an alternative to the extremely high GWP that is R-404A. You see R-404A has a GWP number of nearly four-thousand! That is a huge number. The good news here is that with R-452A it reduces the GWP by forty-five percent when compared to R-404A. While that is a significant number that still leaves us with a high GWP of R-452A itself.

Yes, R-452A comes in with a GWP of two-thousand one-hundred and forty-one. If you compare that to other refrigerants it is still a VERY high number. Because of this fact I have to say that I do not see this newer HFO refrigerant from Chemours lasting very long. There will come a time in the near future that this refrigerant will be phased out shortly. If you are looking into switching over your 404A system it may make more sense to either wait until a lower GWP alternative comes out or to take a serious look at natural refrigerants out there like R-744 CO2.

Alright folks, with all that being said I’ve talked enough. Let’s get onto the actual pressure chart. When I create these tables I strive to create them as accurate as possible so if you see something that is not right please reach out to me and I will get it corrected as soon as possible.

Temp (F)Temp (C)Liquid Pressure (PSIG)Vapor Pressure (PSIG)
-94-70-10.84-11.61
-90.4-68-10.33-11.19
-86.8-66-9.76-10.72
-83.2-64-9.14-10.21
-79.6-62-8.45-9.64
-76-60-7.7-9.01
-72.4-58-6.87-8.32
-68.8-56-5.97-7.56
-65.2-54-4.99-6.74
-61.6-52-3.93-5.83
-58-50-2.77-4.85
-54.4-48-1.52-3.78
-50.8-46-0.02-2.63
-47.2-441.3-1.37
-43.6-422.88-0.02
-40-404.571.45
-36.4-386.393.02
-32.8-368.354.71
-29.2-3410.446.53
-25.6-3212.678.48
-22-3015.0610.56
-18.4-2817.612.79
-14.8-2620.315.17
-11.2-2423.1817.71
-7.6-2226.2320.41
-4-2029.4723.28
-0.4-1832.926.33
3.2-1636.5329.57
6.8-1440.3733
10.4-1244.4236.62
14-1048.6940.46
17.6-853.1944.51
21.2-657.9348.79
24.8-462.9153.3
28.4-268.1458.04
32073.6363.04
35.6279.3968.29
39.2485.4273.82
42.8691.7479.61
46.4898.3585.68
5010105.2692.05
53.612112.4898.72
57.214120.02105.7
60.816127.88113.01
64.418136.08120.64
6820144.61128.61
71.622153.51136.94
75.224162.76145.62
78.826172.38154.69
82.428182.38164.14
8630192.76173.97
89.632203.55184.22
93.234214.75194.89
96.836226.36205.99
100.438238.38217.53
10440250.85229.54
107.642263.77242.02
111.244277.14254.98
114.846290.99268.45
118.448305.3282.45
12250320.1296.97
125.652335.41312.05
129.254351.22327.73
132.856367.56344
136.458384.42360.89
14060401.84378.44
143.662419.82396.69
147.264438.35415.67
150.866457.46435.44
154.468477.15456.07
15870497.41477.64

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

What Is It?

HFCs, or HydroFluroCarbons, are a commonly used refrigerant classification used across the globe. Some of the most common HFC refrigerants that you may have heard of are R-134a, R-404A, R-410A, R-125, and R-32. These refrigerants are used in a variety of applications from automotive, to home air conditioners, all the way to industrial refrigeration. In recent years there has been a push to phase out HFC refrigerants due to their impact on the environment, but I’ll get into that a bit later into this article.

HFC refrigerants first started becoming popular and widespread in the early 1990’s. This came about due to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol was a treaty that organized and targeted the phase out of Ozone damaging refrigerants like CFCs and HCFCs. These Ozone depleting refrigerant such as R-12 and R-22 were the go to refrigerants for decades and were used all over the globe. It was in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that scientists discovered these refrigerants were releasing Chlorine into the atmosphere when they were vented or leaked. This leaked Chlorine couldn’t break down in the atmosphere and ended up eating away at the Ozone layer. The more Chlorine that was released the faster the damage occurred.

R-134a Refrigerant
R-134a Refrigerant

There was an immediate push from various countries to phase out CFC and HCFC refrigerants. The first target was R-12 in the early 1990’s. R-12 was majorly found in car air conditioners and it was replaced by the HFC refrigerant known as R-134a. Not too many years afterward R-404A began to see popularity after replacing R-502 and recently in 2010 R-22 was phased down and intended to be replaced by the HFC R-410A.

We have been chugging away with HFCs for the past few decades and the Ozone has nearly healed from the earlier damage. But now, we have a different problem when it comes to these new refrigerants. While HFCs do not contain Chlorine they do have a very high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is a measurement that is used to measure the impact a Greenhouse Gas has on the climate and environment. The higher the number the more harmful the substance is to the climate. As a zero base for the scale R-744 or Carbon Dioxide was used. R-744 has a GWP of one. Whereas, R-134a has a GWP of one-thousand three-hundred and forty-four. Think about that difference for a moment folks and let the impact sink in.

The HFC Phase Downs

While HFCs saved the Ozone layer we now understand that they are not a sustainable alternative refrigerant due to their high GWP. The push is on now to begin phasing down or completely phasing out HFC refrigerants for lower GWP/Non Ozone depleting alternatives. Depending on where you are in the world you may have already seen the ramifications of these phase downs.

The European Union phased out R-134a on new automobiles back in 2015 and are now actively working on phasing out R-404A as well as R-410A. Their replacements have either been lower GWP HFC refrigerants such as R-32, natural refrigerants such as R-290 or R-744, or the new classification of refrigerants known as HydroFluroOlefins or HFOs. While there is not a perfect alternative yet to HFCs many companies and countries are working towards multiple alternatives. Also, in the fall of 2016 an Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was signed. This amendment, called the Kigali Amendment, was aimed at phasing down HFC refrigerants across the world. Over a hundred countries signed the document.

I won’t get into all of the details here but the United States has had an interesting table to phase out. We signed the Kigali Amendment but haven’t ratified the treaty in the Senate. The EPA planned to phase out HFCs but their regulations were over turned by a Federal Court. We now have States doing their own policies on HFCs.

Prices & Purchase Restrictions

Chances are if you have a home air conditioner or an automobile from 2015 or earlier than you are reaping the benefits of an HFC air conditioning system. Over in Europe the cost of HFCs have skyrocketed to astronomical levels due to their phase outs. It’s so bad over there that organized crime has begun to take part in black market refrigerant sales.

Here in the United States things are a lot less hectic. The price on HFC refrigerants has been pretty stable over the past few years. Sure, we’ll always have our ups and downs, especially in the summer, but we haven’t seen anything like the European price jumps.

There is one thing to note for those of you looking to do your own repairs. On January 1st, of 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency extended their refrigerant sales restriction over to HFCs. What that means is that if you are not certified with the EPA (Either 608 or 609 certified) then you are not legally able to purchase or handle HFC refrigerants. This has frustrated a lot of do-it-yourselfers who are used to doing their own repairs.

There are a couple exception to this that should be noted:

  • If you are purchasing cans of refrigerant in under one or two pound quantities then you are still able to buy without being certified.
  • If you provide a signed document to your vendor stating that you will NOT be using the refrigerant you are purchasing then you can still purchase. Basically, you have to prove that you will be retailing the refrigerant and not using it yourself.

Conclusion

In the United States HFC refrigerants are going to be around for quite a while. The transition away from them is going to be a long and slow process. We are already beginning to see some signs of with automotive manufacturers voluntarily moving away from R-134a and opting for the HFO 1234yf. On top of that some states have announced they will be doing a full phase down and phase out of HFCs. (California and New York.) There are more states expected to announce similar plans.

Regardless of what happens, HFCs will be around for the next few decades, but as time moves on we will be seeing less and less of them until they are eventually as rare as an R-12 cylinder is today.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

Well folks one of the big dogs in the refrigerated transport market, Carrier Transicold, has begun offering R-452A as an alternative refrigerant for their trucks here in America. Most everyone already saw this coming due to their competition, Thermo King, had already begun switching their trucks over to 452A as well. For those of you who do not know these two companies are the kings when it comes to refrigerated transport. When they decide to make a change then the whole industry will change with them.

Both Carrier and Thermo King had been offering R-452A as an alternative in the European Union since 2015, and now that choice is available here in the United States. Notice how I said choice. As of today there are no regulations or planned phase outs of R-404A in the transportation market. 404A is being phased out in other applications such as super market freezers and vending machines but there is not an announced plan to phase it out yet on refrigerated trucks yet…

All that being said it is only a matter of time before EPA regulations work their way towards phasing out 404A for the Carrier market. If you’re going to be purchasing a new unit then I would recommend going with the 452A option. It may be more expensive then what you are used to today but it is an investment for the future and may end up saving you money down the road.

What is R-452A?

R-452A is one of the newer HFO refrigerants. HFO stands for HydroFluroOlefin. These refrigerants are rather new to the market and have started to become more popular due to the benefits they offer when comparing them to the common place CFC,HCFC, and HFC refrigerants.  Even today new HFO refrigerants are being developed in the labs at Honeywell and Chemours.

R-452A, or Chemour’s Opteon XP44, is designed to be as a drop-in replacement for R-404A or R-507. The compressor discharge temperature and the flow rate are a near match to 404A/507. That means that you don’t have to the trouble of retrofitting. This is a much easier transition then the whole R-22 to R-410A fiasco. (Please note that before attempting to drop in the 452A refrigerant to call Carrier or Thermo King to ensure that your model doesn’t need component retrofits or software updates. Better to be safe then sorry.)

452A has a zero O-Zone depletion potential. There is no Chlorine involved so there is no risk there. On top of that the 452A has nearly half the Global Warming Potential of 404A. 404 has a GWP of 3,922 times the amount of Carbon Dioxide while the new 452A comes in at 2,141. Obviously, this isn’t the perfect solution and we still have a long ways to go but having the ability to cut the GWP in half on all transport, supermarkets, and vending machines is huge. The bad thing about this is that when the new HFO refrigerant comes out with a GWP of under 1,000 we will have to go through this whole process yet again.

Where Can I Buy R-452A or XP44?

At this time R-452A isn’t too popular yet and because of that it makes it hard to find. If you have direct contact with The Chemours company then I would reach out to them but you may have to buy a few cylinders instead of just one at a time. However, if you are like most of us and don’t have contracts established with the refrigerant manufacturers then you will have to go through a refrigerant distributor or by contacting Thermo King or Carrier Transicold directly.

If you are still having trouble finding a source let me know by following this link and filling out the purchase form. I will look around and reach out to some of my distributors to see if I can get you a source.

Conclusion

Rather you like it or not HFO refrigerants, like the 452A, are going to be the refrigerants of the future. With each year the slow creep and phase out of HFC refrigerants advances and as the HFCs start to fade away the new HFO refrigerants are beginning to take the lime light. As I write this today there are alternatives to R-134a that are becoming more and more popular with US automobile manufacturers. An alternative to R-410A is still being developed but it is only a matter of time before we go through the massive switch again.

If you’re a tech who ends up working quite a bit on supermarket freezers, vending machines, or even a mechanic who will be sticking his hands in on the Carrier/Themo units then I would recommend getting familiar with R-452A and what to expect. For more information on XP44/R-452A check out some of my source links below.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

 

Sources

2015 Refrigerant Price Per Pound Predictions

I did a post on 2015 refrigerant predictions last November and figured I would do another post predicting this summer’s pricing as well as the fall and even into 2016. After all, it’s been six months since my last prediction post and a lot has changed. So, what is the price per pound on refrigerant for 2015? What changes are coming? What should you look out for?

The one thing to remember is that refrigerants are a commodity and pricing can jump or dive in a day’s time. The best analogy that I can make is that it is similar to the price of oil. Some days it’s at eighty dollars a barrel and other days it’s at fifty a barrel.

You never really know what’s going to happen… but you can predict using knowledge of the industry and what has been happening in the market. Or, you can just pull out your crystal ball!

R-134a

R-134A 30 Pound Cylinder Refrigerant
R-134A 30 Pound Cylinder

Let’s start with the most complicated one, R-134a. R-134a is pretty much the standard refrigerant on any automobile application including cars, buses, trucks, and everything else. Over the past couple years the price on R-134a has maintained around $65-$80 a jug when buying a pallet at a time. (A pallet is forty jugs.) This price has really been the standard since I’ve been in the industry which is about eight years.

The Law-Suit

Last year in early 2014 things changed. In late 2013 a company called MexiChem filed a lawsuit at the International Trade Commission. (MexiChem is one of the largest refrigerant manufacturers in the United States. Honeywell and DuPont being the others.) MexiChem’s lawsuit stated that the Chinese product being imported into the United States was being brought in at such a low price that it was making MexiChem and other North American manufacturers not competitive in the market place.

To give an example, today you could buy a container of R-134a refrigerant from China for about $45-$50 a jug. Considering that most American made product is being bought for $65-80 a jug that leaves quite a difference in price. The distributors of this Chinese product could sell at $60 a jug and take all of the North American manufacturers’ business with ease.

Supposedly, the Chinese goverment was also subsidizing the refrigerant before it came into the United States. So, if the actual cost to manufacture the refrigerant was $35 the Chinese government would give subsides to the Chinese manufacturer and lower their price another $5.00 per jug. Not only are we dealing with imported product but now we are dealing with goverment funded imports. I can see why MexiChem was complaining.

The proposed fix in MexiChem’s lawsuit was to have the International Trade Commission levy heavy tariffs on the imported R-134a product. As I said previously the lawsuit was filed in late 2013 and was reviewed at the end of the first quarter in 2014. This is where things got interesting. It looked like the Trade Commission was going to sign with MexiChem and issue the tariffs. This sent a panic throughout the industry and caused the price of R-134a to skyrocket in  week. I remember the week well. We were buying at around $70 a jug and then all of a sudden it jumped to $110 a jug. THEN it jumped to $145 a jug… and stayed there.

The price jumped as people realized that if these tariffs were issued what was to stop the big three refrigerant manufacturers from raising their cost even higher across the market? If the tariffs put the Chinese product at $90 a cylinder why not raise the American product to $90 a cylinder and make a bunch more profit? A lot of people panicked and bought up as much product as they could before the price raised even higher which in turn caused the price to keep climbing. The price stayed above $100 pretty much all summer, but it did start to steadily decline and eventually fall below $100 again towards the end of fall.

In November, 2014 the Trade Commission came to a ruling on the lawsuit. They ruled against MexiChem stating that the Chinese product was not harming the United States refrigeration industry. I wrote an article about this back in November and it can be found by clicking here. Needless to say, MexiChem wasn’t happy. They thought it over for a few months and in January of 2015 they appealed the Trade Commission’s ruling hoping for a different outcome in 2015. The Trade Commission’s next ruling is predicted towards the end of 2015 or early 2016. It is anyone’s guess as to what they will decide.

HFC Phase Outs

On top of the pending lawsuit on R-134a there is also the inevitable phase out of 134a to consider. R-134a is an HFC class refrigerant and is widely believed to be the next big phase out in the United States. It was already phased out in the European Union and is being pushed for phase out in the US already by the Obama Administration. Unlike it’s CFC/HCFC cousins 134a is not being phased out due to it’s Chlorine content, instead it is being phased out due to it’s high Global Warming Potential (GWP). R-134a has a GWP of 1,300 and it’s new alternative refrigerant 1234YF has a GWP of 4. The concern here is not the O-Zone but of Global Warming. Every time 134a is released into the atmosphere it contributes to GreenHouse Gases and Global Warming.

Europe is always ahead of the game when it comes to climate regulations and phased out 134a a few years ago and replaced it with the new HFO-1234YF refrigerant. Here in America 134a is still widely used for most automobiles but 1234YF is gaining traction on newer vehicle models such as General Motors. It is only a matter of time before 134a slowly goes away and is replaced with the new 1234YF.

Oh, and did I mention that there is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that is being pushed by the North American countries, the European Union, China, and India to phase out ALL HFC refrigerants? Yes, I said all. That means 404A, 410A, and 134a. Nothing has been finalized yet, but it is expected to pass during this winter’s climate summit in Dubai.

R-134a Conclusion

With all of the above information on 134a it is surprising to see that the price per jug in 2015 has actually fallen back down to the $65-$80 range again. The price slowly began to fall over the 2014/2015 winter months and now with this cold spring that we are having it is still maintaining right around the ‘usual’ price. For the rest of 2015 I would predict the price to stay relatively flat. My reasoning is as follows:

  • The Trade Commission will not be ruling on MexiChem’s lawsuit until the end of the year. I do not foresee this affecting pricing until 2016 if it affects it all.
  • The HFC phaseout meeting will occur at the end of the year as well, but even if this passes it is still a twenty to thirty year timeline. It will not happen overnight and I do not feel like there will be a panic if this passes.
  • Lastly, it’s been a cold spring where I’m at in the MidWest. I don’t know about your side of the country but it’s been a nice wet spring so the demand for HVAC hasn’t hit yet. Who knows what summer will bring though.

In conclusion I predict we’ll stay right around the $65-$80 per cylinder for the remainder of 2015. Although, 2016 is completely wide open as all of these open issues will come to fruition.

If you are looking to purchase R-134a as individual cylinders you can find them on Amazon by clicking this link.

R-410A

r-404a 25 pound cylinderR-410A is slowly becoming the standard refrigerant for home and commercial buildings. If you own an air conditioning unit from the year 2010 or greater chances are it is taking R-410a as it’s refrigerant. I actually just had a new unit installed for my home and I have to say it is SOOO much more efficient than the old R-22 unit. My monthly bills were cut by about thirty percent!

On to the pricing. I’ve been watching R-410a for the past couple years and it’s price really hasn’t changed much at all. It’s been hovering at around $60-$70 per cylinder when purchasing a pallet. Back in 2013 I sold 410A over Amazon for a few months and my price hardly every changed. 410A is still ‘new’ to the industry and is not being widely used at the moment. All of the older AC units are using the CFC R-22. But, as time goes on and the years pass R-410A will become more mainstream through out the country and I would predict price to go up over the years.

That being said I do have to mention that 410A is an HFC refrigerant, just like 134a. You know what that means. It is being proposed to be phased out at this year’s climate summit. Many many countries are pushing for all HFC’s to be phased out and this is another one that falls into that category. The problem is with 410A there is not a mainstream alternative, yet. There are some companies experimenting with varying types of refrigerant such as the new HFO refrigerants, Carbon Dioxide, or even Propane. So far nothing has come out on top yet.

R-410A Conclusion

For 2015 I don’t see much at all changing on R-410A. As I said before it’s still a fairly new refrigerant and when the phase outs of HFCs do come I predict 410A to be the last of the HFCs to go. With 134a there is already an alternative HFO refrigerant and with 404A there is already an alternative HFO refrigerant. With 410A there really isn’t one… yet.

In conclusion I predict 410A to stay steady at the $60-$70 per cylinder range.

If you are looking to purchase R-410A as individual cylinders you can find them on Amazon by clicking this link.

R-404A

46R-404A isn’t as big as 134a, R-22, or 410A but it definitely has it’s purpose. Ever been in a supermarket? Of course you have. All those grocery store freezers, those ice machines, vending machines, and even transport refrigeration all use 404A. So, you as a homeowner may not have a need for 404A but it is definitely everywhere you go.

As far as future and pricing R-404A is pretty much the same as 410A. There aren’t any active lawsuits on it, there aren’t any BIG changes coming, and it is an HFC refrigerant so it is expected to be phased out over the next few years. It’s just about the same price as 410A as well. 404A hovers around $75-$85 a cylinder when buying a pallet and not much higher when just buying one jug at a time. (Amazon and E-Bay are at about $90-$95 a cylinder at a time.)

The one thing to note with 404A is that there is now an alternative HFO refrigerant known as R-452A.  But, it’s not ‘THE’ alternative. It’s a poor man’s alternative. R-404A has a Global Warming Potential of 3,943. The new R-452A has a GWP of 2,140. As you can see it’s quite the reduction in GWP but compared to the 134a alternative, 1234YF, it is nowhere near good enough. 1234YF has a GWP of 4 and 452A is still way up over 2,000.

Regardless of that, ThermoKing and Carrier have begun building their new refrigerated trucks using R-452A rather than 404A. Not only that, but Coca Cola has begun switching it’s vending machines away from 404A over to Carbon Dioxide refrigerants, or R-744. Companies are leaving 404A behind in droves and it’s only going to increase as time goes on.

R-404A Conclusion

I actually predict the price of 404A to go down as we go through the summer and fall of 2015. Nothing crazy here, maybe five dollars a cylinder. It just seems that with all of these companies switching away from 404A that the demand is going to crash and the price is going to go down. Just be ready for the phase out of 404A in the next few years as we may see prices rise again.

In conclusion I predict 404A to go down about $5.00 a cylinder in the 2015 summer and fall. Price would be around $65-$75 a cylinder for one pallet.

If you are looking to purchase jugs of 404A at a time visit our Amazon partner by clicking here.

R-22

R-22 30 Pound Refrigerant Cylinder
R-22 30 Pound Refrigerant Cylinder

R-22 was the end all be all of refrigerant for fifty years. It was THE refrigerant used in home and commercial buildings. It was also one of the first types of refrigerants to be phased out via the Montreal Protocol. The phase out of R-22 was due to the Chlorine that it contained in it’s chemical composition. Chlorine when released in the atmosphere damages the O-Zone layer and it was found in the 1980s that the constant use of R-12 and R-22 had caused a hole to form in the O-Zone. Numerous countries banded together and formed the Montreal Protocol to ban O-Zone depleting substances such as R-22.

In 2010 the ban of R-22 began. The first step was that NO new machines manufactured or imported in the United States could take R-22. The new machines had to take an alternative O-Zone friendly refrigerant. The default replacement that was chosen was R-410A. When the 2010 phase out hit the price of R-22 climbed substantially and has held steady at about $290-$300 a cylinder for a pallet. Even quite a bit higher when buying a single jug at about $380-$400 a cylinder.

In 2015 there was another step in the phase out of R-22. This step involved the United States to cut ninety percent of it’s consumption and imports of R-22. In November of 2014 I predicted that the new 2015 reduction would cause the prices of R-22 to go even higher, but surprisingly that did not happen. At least not yet.

R-22’s phase out schedule can be found by visiting the EPA’s site by clicking here or by reading an excerpt below:

January 1, 2004:
The Montreal Protocol required the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 35% below the U.S. baseline cap. As of January 1, 2003, EPA banned production and import of HCFC-141b, the most ozone-destructive HCFC. This action allowed the United States to meet its obligations under the Montreal Protocol. EPA was able to issue 100% of company baseline allowances for production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b.
January 1, 2010:
The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 75% below the U.S. baseline. Allowance holders may only produce or import HCFC-22 to service existing equipment. Virgin R-22 may not be used in new equipment. As a result, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers may not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps containing R-22.
January 1, 2015:
The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 90% below the U.S. baseline.
January 1, 2020:
The Montreal Protocol requires the U.S. to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 99.5% below the U.S. baseline. Refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled/reclaimed will be allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.

R-22 Conclusion

R-22 is going away, rather you like it or not. Every year it gets more expensive. I wrongly predicted that the price would go up to around $500 a jug in 2015 due to the reduction in supply but that is not to say that the price won’t still go up. After all, the inventory is shrinking and there is still a large amount of R-22 units running in the United States. There will be a demand even with this reduction in production.

In conclusion I predict R-22’s price to rise, but not substantially over 2015. At the end of 2015 I can see R-22 being bought at about $330-$350 a cylinder for pallet and about $420-$430 for individual cylinders.

Again, if you are interested in purchasing R-22 by the jug please visit our Amazon partner by clicking this link. Please note that in order to purchase R-22 you will need to be 608 licensed with the EPA.

1234YF

1234YF Refrigerant & Refrigerant
HoneyWell’s Solstice 1234YF Private Brand

1234YF is the new HFO replacement for R-134a automobile applications. It is seeing widespread usage in Europe but it is still very rare to see in the United States. There are a few manufacturers using it today on their new models of cars but you will begin to see 1234YF units more and more over 2015 and in future years. Remember, 134a is going away and 1234YF is the recommended replacement. The only other viable alternative at this time is Carbon Dioxide units, but these are still being experimented with at this time.

Here’s the downside. The price of 1234YF is VERY high. Now, I’m not sure why the price is so high. My guess would be either the supply is extremely low at this time, or the manufacturing process is a lot more complicated compared to it’s HFC counterparts. Today the price on a ten pound jug of 1234YF is sitting around $700 a jug. (I don’t even know anybody buying pallets of this stuff yet.) The hope is that this price will begin decline over the years as it becomes more mainstream through the United States.

1234YF Conclusion

1234YF is still fairly new to the US market and is seeing a very high introductory price. I do not see this price changing much, if at all, in 2015. My prediction is that it will stay right at $700 a jug give or take $20 higher or lower.

If you are interested in purchasing 1234YF refrigerant then I would highly recommend visiting Refrigerant Depot out of Orlando, Florida by visiting this link. They are an official Honeywell Refrigerants distributor and will provide the product right to your door.

Final Conclusion

Just remember that refrigerants are a commodity and the pricing changes daily. A few tips before I leave on buying refrigerant:

  • If you can, buy product in the dead of winter. Prices are cheap and vendors want to unload their excess product. You can usually get quite a deal.
  • Watch the market and look for incoming phase outs. You never know when the price will skyrocket.
  • Don’t be afraid to sit on refrigerant inventory.  It doesn’t go bad and you may end up saving yourself a fortune.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.

 

 

R-452A to Replace R-404A

 

R-452A to Replace R-404A?

There has been a big push over the past couple years to replace R-404A and other HFC refrigerants with alternatives. The push comes from HFCs having a larger Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is compared against Carbon Dioxide which has a GWP of 1. R-404A has a GWP of 3,943. Obviously, there is quite the difference here and you can see the need to find an alternative to the high GWP R-404A.

When finding an alternative the goal is to find a drop in replacement rather than having to retrofit the entire system. This saves time, money, and headaches for the customer. DuPont has developed an alternative to R-404A that does just that. It is known as HFO R-452A. (DuPont’s brand name is Opteon XP44) The R-452A has a GWP of 2,140. It is by no means a miracle replacement as the GWP is still quite high, but it is cutting the GWP almost in half compared to 404A and it provides an easy transition.

Benefits of R-452A

  • Up to forty-five percent reduction in your company’s global warming potential contribution.
  • No loss of performance or reliability on your vehicles.
    • Refrigerant functions the same as R-404A.
  • Low flammability.
  • Low operating cost.
  • No extra cost of ownership or retrofitting.
  • Company reputation – Be one of the first ones on the market to use the new environmentally friendly refrigerant.

Carrier and Thermo King Switching

Carrier and Thermo King announced in late 2014 that they would be switching their units over to R-452A in 2015. In fact just this month I was reading an article that Thermo King announced they sold their first R-452A unit to a customer in Spain. The article was from the Cooling Post and can be found by clicking here. Not only is Thermo King manufacturing new units with 452A but they are also offering consultation and assistance on switching their customer’s existing units over to 452A.

On top of Thermo King switching over Carrier Transicold has announced that they will be switching over their units in second and third quarter of 2015. Again, another article from the Cooling Post about Carrier’s switch can be found here.

Conclusion

These switches are mostly taking place across Europe at this time but it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream in the United States as well. Europe always seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to new and alternative refrigerants. Here in the States we like to have others test it out for us before we jump on!

It is speculated that HFO 452A is a placeholder refrigerant until the main manufacturers do a full scale switch over to CO2. Which would make sense since R-452A is still considered a very high on the Global Warming Potential scale. So, who knows how long R-452A will even be around until the next best thing comes out.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

Owner.