The Fight Against Global Warming is Heating Up
Global leaders worldwide are adopting much stricter control over the GWP of refrigerants, and the United States is getting on board as well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to limit the GWP of refrigerants to a maximum of 700 starting in 2025. At the same time, the EPA is implementing a phasedown of existing, higher GWP refrigerants, including Puron.
Why is Bryant Changing to Puron Advance?
Beginning January 1, 2025, the EPA will no longer allow manufactures to build residential ducted and ductless HVAC equipment using the current R-410A (Puron) refrigerant. Puron Advance not only meets but exceeds the new requirement with a GWP of 466 and is a 75% reduction in GWP compared to R-410A.
Refrigerants Through the Years: A Historical Perspective
If you examine the timeline below, you’ll see a history of change for refrigerants. And if you look closely, you’ll see the transitions from R-12 to R-22 and to Puron were focused on reducing ozone depletion. Something you won’t see on the chart: the previous transitions were made a little easier due to the number of readily available alternatives. Switching from R-410A to a lower GWP refrigerant has been a bit more complicated due to the lack of available options that didn’t require a refrigerant with a higher flame propagation.
With Change Comes Compromise
The transition from R-22 to Puron came with an increase in GWP. It wasn’t ideal, but it helped us achieve the goal of finding a non-ozone depleting refrigerant. Now, with the change from Puron to Puron Advance, the focus has been to dramatically reduce global warming potential, while maintaining no ozone depletion. To achieve this goal, the industry had to collectively make another concession: a shift in flammability classification.
R-12, R-22 and Puron all fall into the A1 classification of refrigerants which have no flame propagation. Puron Advance falls into a new category – A2L – which is “mildly flammable.” We’ll go into more detail on flammability later – but be assured that the new refrigerant is still VERY low on the flammability scale and is quite safe.
Let’s Put A2L Flammability in Perspective
A2L refrigerants like R-454B are considered mildly flammable, difficult to ignite, and have a low flame speed. It is important to note that Puron Advance poses no significant risk for installers, service technicians or homeowners.
- A2L refrigerants are so mildly flammable that there must be a significant energy source, like a direct flame, and a high concentration of refrigerant to create a flame
- If an A2L refrigerant were to ignite, the flame would be unsustainable
- An A2L refrigerant flame would spread at an extremely slow speed – less than half a mile per hour – you can walk faster than that
OUR COMMITMENT TO SAFETY
Bryant is committed to safety and will, therefore, include a dissipation system in all products containing Puron Advance. This safety mechanism includes a leak dissipation system designed with a leak detector for activation of a unit fan and a dissipation board. When activated, the leak sensor sends a signal to the dissipation board, which energizes a blower to dissipate the refrigerant into the air stream. With our state-of-the-art dissipation system, homeowners can be confident that the required safety measures have been built into our system.