What Are A2L Refrigerants and Why Do We Need Them?

Regulations focused on combating climate change are resulting in a transition of the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (ACR) industry to lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant solutions.

The EPA is now taking steps that will help enable the transition to lower GWP refrigerants. These include new refrigerants which fall into the A2L safety groups, as defined by ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34.

These and other innovative new refrigerants, such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), have been developed with dramatically lower GWP values than HFCs. However, A2Ls and other alternatives (e.g. Hydrocarbons [HCs], Blends, etc.) have varying degrees of flammability.

The ACR industry has spent the last several years preparing for a transition and this report will give an overview of some of the lower GWP refrigerants developed, along with key factors that must be
considered when working with flammable refrigerants.

Safety classes and flammability parameters, including their effect on refrigerant selection, are covered along with the impacts of codes and standards.