With the rising cost of refrigerant in the UK, such as R410a, reduced production of refrigerant gases, such as R404a, as well as the public’s increasing concern over climate change - is it time to be investing in new air conditioning and heat pump systems? Systems that will operate on a refrigerant that is more economical, versatile, obtainable, more affordably maintained and have lower Global Warming Potential (GWP)?
In April last year, one of the largest manufacturers of refrigerants, Honeywell, led the way in the transition to low GWP refrigerant gasses. Honeywell proposed an end to the trade of high GWP refrigerants such as R404a. Additionally, as more installers also make the socially responsible commitment to stop providing any equipment that are charged with R404a, due to its inefficiency and planned phase out in 2 years’ time, now the time is better than ever to take the leap to the new era of air conditioning technology.
Issues with R410a
The price of R410a refrigerant has risen dramatically over the last year and is predicted to continue to increase due to shortage of the component in manufacturing. This is why companies may have noticed a higher cost in the maintenance and repair of their R410a air conditioning or heat pump systems. Some systems run on this refrigerant can consist of technology that is 20 years old and does not compete with the energy efficiency or the state–of–the–art R32 products. The combination of this has influenced more businesses to see the economical, environmental and longevity benefits of new HVAC technology that runs on R32.
Environmental Impact Reduced by R32
Each refrigerant has a Global Warming Potential with carbon used as the base. Carbon has a GWP of 1.
R410a has a GWP of 2,088 meaning that if one kilogram is released into the atmosphere it would have 2,088 times the harmful effect of one kilogram of carbon. R32 has a much lower GWP of 675, two thirds less than R410a.
R32 is a single component refrigerant, meaning it is also easier to reuse and to recycle.
With a far higher volumetric cooling capacity than R410a, R32 can run with a reduced pipe size which increases the efficiency and allows for longer pipe runs.
Due to the recent price rises, the same amount of R410a gas (@£600 for 10kg) can buy up to 3 times as much R32 gas (@£200 for 10kg). Additionally, systems run on R32 requires around ¼ less charge compared to air conditioning or heat pump systems run on R410a, which means the same volume of the cheaper gas will also last many more maintenance visits.
Long Term Benefit
You may think you are paying a premium for these state-of-the-art air conditioning or heat pump systems to be installed, but you can be sure it is a sound investment, especially at the current higher prices for older generation refrigerant gases. In a typical R32 7/8kw air conditioning system, for every 1 unit of power intake, the system’s heating capacity output can be up to 4 times higher than older systems and cooling capacity up to 6 times higher. With the cheaper running and maintenance costs, it can often mean the capital invested in the supply and installation of new R32 air conditioning or heat pump equipment could be redeemed in as little as 3 years.
Did you know about the government incentive scheme ECA?
If you purchase clean or renewable energy powered equipment such as heat pumps, you could be claiming your investment back through your profitable tax from the government through the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. See if the product you want is on the Energy Technology Product List (ETPL), or find out how to apply to have your equipment listed and how to claim 100% of the first years capital allowance on a product listed in the ETPL here.
Qualified Installers of R32 Equipment
JCW Energy Services have already completed numerous R32 replacement projects around the country for some notable clients. Could you be next to take the R32 step? To see exactly what the benefits to your company and premises could be from R32 air conditioning or heat pumps systems, enquire here.