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This video stems from the HVAC School podcast where Jason Obrzut discusses A2L refrigerant facts. Jason is a member of AHRI’s Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force and author of the RACT manual. To learn more about A2L refrigerants, check out the AHRI Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force’s webinars, newsletters, and fact sheets at
Since the release of the podcast, the EPA has released its ruling on the HFC phase-down. Learn more by visiting the EPA's site and checking their resources on the ruling at
You can also check out the official EPA fact sheet at
ASHRAE designates refrigerants into categories based on toxicity (A or B) and flammability (traditionally 1, 2, and 3). So, the new A2L designation indicates that a refrigerant is relatively non-toxic but has a flammability value between 1 (low) and 2 (moderate). While propane (R-290) is a good refrigerant because it is natural and has low toxicity, it is very flammable (A3).
Future refrigerants will likely fall under the A2L designation; the mild flammability will probably be the tradeoff for efficient, low-toxicity refrigerant with a low environmental impact. However, A2L refrigerants cannot be vented, even despite their low GWP. We also cannot use these refrigerants in retrofits.
A2L refrigerants will likely become much more prevalent around 2023 as HFC refrigerants phase down. The phase-down period will be specified shortly, and it will begin with a 10% reduction; the specific parameters of the phase-down have yet to be set.
When working with A2L refrigerants like R-32, you can expect little to no change in how you work on equipment if you’re already employing the best practices. Sizing and capacity will hardly change in the residential market. In the commercial sphere, these systems still look and operate quite similarly to current units.
Jason and Bryan also discuss:
Refrigerant detection systems (RDS)
Flowing nitrogen and other best practices
Non-A2L HFC alternatives
Left-handed threads
Non-standard safety practices
R-32 properties
Refrigerant glide
To find A2L-compatible tools, check out
Check out ESCO Group's website at Check out their EPA 608 training at
We have also written an article about this topic, which you can read at
Check out information on the 2022 HVACR Training Symposium at

Hey everybody brian orr here, thanks for watching this video is on a2l refrigerants. This is actually a podcast that i did with jason objute from esko. He is really in touch with everything that's going on with a2l's, but the reason why i'm releasing this as a video is. I really want everybody to be aware, because there was a recent ruling by the epa we expected it, but it just came out on hfc's and the phase down, which means that a2l's are coming.

So you need to be aware of what's going on and that's why we decided to release this podcast as a video on youtube as well and as always just go ahead and follow the links down at the bottom in order to get more information on this. Thanks for watching and big thanks to jason and esko for helping us out, as always all right, thanks for joining us again on the hvac school podcast jason. Thank you for having me. So it's been a while um we've been trying to find an excuse or i've been trying to find an excuse to get you back on the podcast.

But this is a super important super important topic - um a2l's uh, mildly flammable refrigerants. I think i think that's right mildly. Is that what it is they call it slightly flammable mildly, flammable, lower flammability. There's a lot of names thrown around out there.

Okay and it is, it is going to be a big part of our future in the trade like it or don't. You can complain all you want, but it doesn't matter. It's it's coming right. It's coming down the coming down the pike um, but before we get into that, i wanted to just quickly have you update us on on what you've been up to lately? Obviously, um you've been on before the audience.

I'm sure knows you um, but a lot has changed in your life and your responsibilities. So just give us a quick rundown of what you've been working on um, an industry author i've been working on the refrigeration air conditioning technology book with eugene silberstein. We have the complete hvc lab manual as well that we've been working on and then through esko. I wrote a new title: low gwp, refrigerant safety, it's a there's, a certification exam and a book, and some online components and things for these new flammable refrigerants i've been on all these committees, the safe refrigerant, uh transition task force with ahri, and then some of the Standards and codes committees which help me you know, stay on top of where we're going with these refrigerants.

What direction and what types of things we're going to see once they start coming out. So the development of that program took a few years and it's still ongoing, because some of these codes and standards are still in in committee, there's still a few that are going to come out this year, yeah. So in terms of kind of expertise about not only where things stand today, uh, but where things are going on this topic, jason, is you know the guy who wrote the book on the topic and is involved in all of the uh. These kind of regulatory changes um has his finger on the pulse, so to speak.

So it's it's awesome to talk to you about all this um. I want to mention before i even move on, though um i put my full stamp of approval on the racked manual as being the manual that everybody needs to have in their trucks. I mean quite quite honestly, if you don't have at least a few in your company library, you need to get them and then also all of the titles from esco are excellent. If you go to, you can find all of those and uh.

They really are really are great. Is that the right is that the best website to give is still the best website, yep, okay, great well, i want to get that out of the way. Thank you yeah. I want to get that out of the way, because that is, i mean, that's authentic um.

It is literally the book that i learned on um the iraq speaking about the rack manual and then uh. Nowadays, it's just so much better. I mean i have the most recent edition and uh. It's really really excellent.

So thank you for doing that. All right. So, let's uh, let's move on from there and talk about a2. Let's start with the basics um.

What is an a2l all right? It's a flammability designation that comes, you know from ashrae standard 34, where they're tested for flammability there's one two l two and three for a lot of folks. A substance is either gasoline or water. It either lights up or it doesn't all right, but the reality is. There's a big gray area in the middle there, where you need all the stars to line up in order for combustion to happen and 2l's are those that class of refrigerant, where we need a really high ignition energy.

We need a good um accumulation of the gas in a confined space with the right amount of air in order to get ignition they're they're tougher to light than the a3s or the a2s. As we move toward low gwp refrigerants we're going to see as the gwp of a refrigerant comes down, the flammability is going to start going up. We see that with the a3s, the 290 propane and 600 isobutane, they have almost no gwp they're, very low, six or five or four and uh they're highly flammable the two l's kind of fall in the middle. They have this lower gwp this threshold, but they start coming up on the flammability side, so they are flammable but again under the right circumstances, and it does take multiple things to to line up in order to get them to uh to a combustion state yeah.

So a lot of us have talked a lot about hydrocarbons, hc refrigerants, like r290, which is propane, excellent refrigerants that we're starting to see in refrigeration. That are, you know, quite flammable. Obviously we all know they are because it's what we cook our steaks on right. So um so we've talked about that in the past um.

This is not that so it's it isn't the same uh it is significantly different, and so, as people start to see this, they start to see a2l's come into the marketplace. They're going to have significant concerns about their homes and all this um, what's kind of your take on that because it's the first thing that jumps into everybody's mind is like. Oh, my gosh, i'm gon na you know i'm gon na blow a house up or something like that. Well, the design standards, the way things are being set up both on the design side and on the installation side.

There are standards that that are set up to kind of prevent this from happening. You know limiting the equipment charge requiring certain service practices, and if we are following best practices, we can avoid situations like that. These refrigerants are the type that again we're going to have. What's called rds refrigerant detection systems that are on board to the systems when you buy them, so if there is some sort of leak, the system's going to know to shut itself down turn on the blower motor to move some air over the evaporator, it doesn't take A whole lot of air movement to get the refrigerant below that flammability limit a little bit to kind of disperse it and then we're below the flammability limit.

You also have to have a competent ignition source uh with two l's. The most likely ignition source is an open flame. A lot of the things that we have in our house, like you, know the light switches sparking those sorts of things uh, cordless drills, those are not going to ignite a2l's. They don't have enough ignition energy got it.

Yeah i mean that comes back to the whole. You know you need a media fuel source, you need a heat source and you need oxygen and in this case it's just a little more difficult for all that to come together for combustion, right of having all those together in one space becomes, becomes less and so Um, let's talk a little bit about you know what some of those common a2ls are going to be that people see, because i think some some folks you're like well, i've never seen one. I mean this isn't a refrigerant that i that i recognize. But what are some of the maybe recognizable a2ls? First, let me start by saying they may be new to us, but the rest of the the industrialized world's been using these for like a decade, all right we're one of the last industrialized countries.

You know jumping onto these uh right now again. The way it looks it looks like it's going to be 454b and r32 are the two that are going to initially lead the pack. There are six refrigerants that are snap approved for air conditioning subject to use conditions. All a2ls, but those two seem to be leading the pack at the moment in terms of transitions.

What are the regulatory um transitions that are driving this? So what are some of those dates that we that we got to watch out for all right? So the big one was the aim act and that was signed in 2020 at the end of 2020, and what that is is an hfc phase down. That's not a phase out. What we're going to do is uh in line with the kigali amendment um. It reduces the supply of hfcs, the available supply over the next 10 15 years, and it starts next year january, 1st 2022 by 10 percent, we'll see an inventory reduction of 10 percent next year.

We're going to see in september. The epa has yet to put out this ruling there. They have to put it out by the end of september and what that's going to be is basically, what is that baseline number we're going to use 10? What you know? What's that final figure, so in 2022 we'll see a 10 reduction and then in 2024 we'll see a 40 an additional 40 reduction. Oh well yeah.

So i mean this is a the two middle steps. Are the two big steps? There's a 40 and a 70 in there uh and it starts next year. So that means a few things. It sounds like it sounds like uh, price and availability might uh, be impacted and we're talking hfcs and air conditioning we're really talking 410a.

I mean that's, that's the refrigerant we're talking about um, and so what are we going to start seeing from the manufacturing standpoint? When are we going to start seeing a2ls actually hit the streets with sort of standard? You know typical air conditioning equipment in the u.s. We would say again, in my opinion, 2023 to 2025 in that area, simply because again in 2024, when that 40 reduction hits, the price of hfcs is going to go through the roof and manufacturers that are still putting out again 410a equipment at that point are going To face significant cost increase for you, know, building them charging them and then maintaining them once they're out there in the field. So we already see them. The a2l's are in your car uh one two three four yf is in almost every car now uh r32, which we brought up, is already in window air conditioning.

It's been in window air conditioning since, like 2015 uh and then, as you mentioned, the a3s are already in refrigeration. Most residential uh refrigerators have 600 a or 290 in them. Now so they're all around us already, we just haven't it hasn't jumped into uh. You know our area of the industry yet, but it's about to make that jump yeah and it will be huge when we start to see it in you know the residential split market.

That's the the residential unitary split market is where it's really going to be uh. Going to be a huge um, a huge jump, so, let's jump into what does a technician need to know? I mean when the time comes. I mean because a lot of this stuff's out of our control anyway, we're just going to get to a point where we've got to be prepared so that when we have to put our hands on this first, you know r32 piece of equipment. For example, what are some things we need to make sure that we are doing or that we're aware of if you're, i'm going to tell you this, if you're already employing industry best practices you're going to see little to no change.

If i put an r32 system next to a 410 system, the biggest difference would be the stickers on the side of it. Uh there's some servicing uh stickers that are on the side that you have to record certain information on and then there's an iso flame symbol on there. But the size of the unit and the capacity of the unit they're almost going to be identical. Uh in the larger commercial market we'll see some changes that might relocate some of the electrical components away from the the refrigerant circuit in the package systems, but the systems for the most part are going to be installed the same they're going to look the same.

We're going to have to have some updated tools that are rated for use with these types of refrigerants, but for the most part, if you're, following best practices, if you're evacuating like you're supposed to, if you're doing nitrogen sweep after recovery you're recovering uh. To begin with that, you know that's a bonus if you're doing these things already, you're, not gon na see a big difference uh when these come out. As far as service you're gon na i mean confined, spaces is a confined space, whether it's an a1 or an a2 i'll. Tell you during the flammability testing that was done.

Even though 410 is a is an a1 in a house fire, it still burns. I mean it is still fuel for a fire. Your windows, which are made of glass, could be a fuel for a fire if it gets hot enough right. So just because we say a1 uh doesn't mean that it's you know it won't burn.

It will burn half of 410a is 32, which is the 2l. Having said that, i mean we're doing a lot of the the best practices by you know, pulling the back all of these things that were, if you're doing those things not cutting corners you're not going to see a big interruption. You might have to take some training as far as you know, transportation from a to b. You know what do i have to do with my service vehicle and that can come down to a local where some places might require placards or ventilation of the vehicle, but for the most part, um things are going to be unchanged there as well storage, uh warehousing.

That's going to be a little different, um that'll come down to the local fire code officials. You know what volume you're allowed to store. Do you need sprinklers and ventilation. You're gon na need the nfpa signs and things of that nature, but as a technician again, if you're employing the best practices you're not going to see a big difference, you might have to go, buy some new tools.

But a lot of us get excited about doing that anyway. Just another excuse right, um. So one thing that i'm i'm thinking is okay. You know you flow nitrogen, while you braise you're pulling a good vacuum, you're recovering your refrigerant, all that sort of thing.

What about cases where, maybe you have uh? You know the existing compressor and accumulator are staying in place and you're, making a repair within the condenser of some sort? And maybe you have um, you know some. Some refrigerant that is still you know, could have sort of been trained in the oil, and you get a little bit of that. You know kind of, i don't say it's not off gassing but whatever you know where you kind of get that little bit of continued and then you attempt to apply a flame to it. Is that something that you'd want to be a little bit more diligent about um, i mean what the standards call for now is a nitrogen sweep before any hot work, so you're going to have to flow nitrogen through there.

For i mean the initial standards were a little confusing to me is they were like okay? Well, you got to calculate the internal volume of the entire system and then you're going to have to flow at a rate of x and then calculate the volume, and this is how long you have to full nitrogen and nobody's going to do that. No one's going to sit down and calculate the internal volume of the entire right of the system, yeah exactly so. What we're going to do is flow nitrogen through there and before again, before the torch work to hopefully free up any of that entrained refrigerant in the oil and then, if you're flowing while you're brazing, you should hopefully be okay, you you shouldn't get that flare out With the displacement of oxygen through the nitrogen yeah and then also, i would guess, a good best practice would be just to not unsweat um. If you know, essentially, just don't unsweat cut them out.

Yeah cut everything out, yeah yeah yeah, which can be tricky sometimes, but a lot of the standards are allowing in some cases for existing line sets. You know that can be reused as long as they are the proper diameter length. They're clean, uh, one of the things that is a stickler and it's it's a requirement. Now is a striker plate and that's where it's behind the wall going through a joist where it can't move in the wall where it's pinned in there because it runs through wooden some, you know of some sort you're supposed to have a striker plate in the wall.

So someone can't go to hang a picture there and put a nail through the lines that we've seen pictures all over of nails going through. These line sets right. So if you want to reuse an existing line, set you're going to have to be able to verify - or you know show to the inspector that yeah striker plates are in place yeah and that may be very tricky in some. In some cases yeah.

It's actually actually brings up a good point like in our market. We run all these. You know underground line sets, which is an absurd um system anyway, which you know reduces the likelihood because you're not in a wall or something but yeah. If you say you're in an apartment, complex or multi-family, or something like that and and you're wanting to replace a r410a system with r32 yeah that could be, that could be pretty uh pretty challenging.

I imagine right and then there it obviously the line that has to meet the standards. There's two tests. It has to have a vacuum test and it has to have a pressure test they for tightness and for uh. Obviously, one the leak test and the other the the standard divines as for tightness, yeah um, are there going to be any because i think some people just immediately.

You just think, okay. Well, this this scares me are there gon na, be any other options. I mean it sounds like with hfcs being phased out. Is there going to be anything, that's going to be compliant in terms of uh, the epa regulatory environment? That's not going to be an a2l.

There is one product. That's undergoing testing. It's a honeywell product, 466a uh. There's a couple of manufacturers that have stepped up to uh to try and test it on their equipment.

It is an a1 uh. It has a gwp, a low enough g d. By the way, let me throw this out there for the residential uh unitary market. Light commercial: the target at the moment for gwp is 750.

all right and anything over that is going to be undesirable so to speak, and when we're moving forward as a manufacturer, they're going to look for refrigerants that are under that 750 gwp and 466 is one Of them, the other options that are coming out are like co2 uh. There's we're seeing a lot more experimentation and testing with co2 systems, so yeah there's some options that are not a2l's out there, but they're they're a little bit further off the uh than the the aforementioned 32 and 454 systems that are being tested right now, right, yeah And no matter what you do, there's probably going to be some significant um. You know considerations like, for example, you mentioned co2. Let's you know at that point.

It's a completely different animal. I mean you're, definitely not going to reuse existing line, sets if you're going to co2 uh. So you know no matter what you do, you're going to have to change some of our practices in terms of what we sell and and some of the some of the labor involved right. Labor involved yeah exactly i'm just going to be part of it and you got ta gon na have to price it in that's how that works.

Yeah! That's that's what we got to do right um, so you mentioned the tools um. I wanted to give because, because you had mentioned that uh, you just recently had a webinar uh with bill spun from truetechtools. Actually it was with ahri. Oh, it was with hri.

Okay, all right bill phone is the one that took the information and wrote it got it. Okay, yeah, as you usually took it to the next step, right, yeah, yeah, okay, great so yeah. He actually put up a a page on his site. That shows some of the a2l allowable tools that you can use with a2ls, and so, if you go to a2l compatible dash tools, you can also just go to his site and find it there as well um.

If you just go to the cooling section. So it's under the cooling tab, where you would find the a2l compatible tools and that will show you some of those, because i know a lot of techs are going to immediately immediately. Think about that. Are there any other best practices things to kind of watch out for things that maybe could change with? This is most of this kind of written in stone? Do you think there's any possibility that that any of it might might change along the way before some of these dates hit? One of the things i would throw out? There is left-handed threads just get used to them.

Um, okay, we're gon na see some manufacturers uh with their flammable products, whether it's a two two l or a three. If it's flammable they, they like to use a left-handed thread on there, there's no consensus yet so right now, at the moment, if it were to come out tomorrow, we might see some at right-handed summit left-handed. Obviously, because i just said left-handed thread, somebody is already selling on amazon and adapter. It just happened as we were speaking, there's a random adapter right right.

So that's something to be aware of something that's going to be a little different um and the other thing i want to bring up. It doesn't necessarily appear in the standards uh. Yet, as of yet it's a best practice, but when we're driving down the street - and we see the utility companies and they're out doing their work with their vans and things they they cone off their work area. And it's not something that kind of carries over into our industry for some reason, and i would implore technicians when you're working with these types of you know refrigerants can't you know, set yourself up a secure area that you know is free from ignition sources and don't Let anyone enter that area, including the homeowner who might be smoking a cigarette and just brought in a possible ignition source for the refrigerant that you're working on.

So even though again, it's not 100 required in the standards. I would you know, employ you to everyone all. The other trades are doing it all. The other industries are doing it.

Let's do it ourselves and uh again. It's something that can help us be a little safer on that yeah. I would also anticipate that um once a lot of uh state and local governments sort of get aware of this, there's probably going to be a lot more on the you know, hot work permit side, there's probably going to be a lot more fire watch requirements. Um all that sort of stuff - and again you don't know we're just going to have to wait and see, but that's something to watch out for and it's especially important in the midst of a transition.

This is kind of a tip for contractors in general, when you're in the midst of a transition, you don't want to price out a job thinking that things are going to stay the same and then have it get accepted and then have it change in the middle. You know sometimes there's this buffer space, especially on larger projects, so really start to think about this and prepare for it. So you don't get stuck. The last thing i want to see is a contractor um, getting stuck not realizing that they had to have the additional labor associated with this stuff and and then uh, and then you know, maybe maybe not being as profitable or losing money on a project.

But from a residential light commercial, you know unitary split system package system, heat pump, um air conditioning market, we're not going to see a whole big difference, you'll see more things inside some of the electrical components are going to be intrinsically safe um and if you're going To test those, you know, you have to open them up and test them. You got to make sure that you reseal them so that they're still intrinsically safe when you, when you put them back uh we're gon na see rds on board, which is a sensors that will shut the unit down when it sniffs the leak or, if it senses A you know: rapid drop in pressure that could be a leak. It will turn the unit down in commercial systems. We're going to see things like a pump down where, if it you know, determines there's a leak, it will pump the refrigerant outside it will isolate with solenoids it'll, activate mechanical ventilation.

Again, this is all going to be native or resident in the equipment when you buy it already. So for those of you thinking, oh, i am not going to install you. Don't have to install any of it. It's going to be a series of dip switches that you set up based on how much refrigerant you charge in the system.

How much cubic volume is the space that you installed it in those sorts of things, and you move the little dip switches and you have a nice day, yeah yeah i mean like, like usual um. It always sounds worse than it really is. I mean i shouldn't say that sometimes things are worse than they sound, but but in terms of the regulatory stuff, you know we've gone through this so many times now and there's always the doomsday stories. I remember when 410a uh first started, hitting the market.

People were, you know, saying: compressors were going to blow up and all this stuff and that just never just never happened. You know um. So let's say this: the transition to 410a, in my opinion, was a bigger deal than the transition to 2l's, because when we transitioned to 410a, we were introduced to poe oil yeah and how hygroscopic that was, and then the higher pressure rating. Again, we had to have tools and things of that nature.

So again, there were multiple areas there that we had to be aware of we're already now used to high pressure, we're already used to the poe oil. So all we have with this transition is a slightly higher flammability, yeah yeah for sure, and, like you mentioned things like um storage and all that is probably gon na, be a bigger um. You know a bigger thing to deal with for the contractor than even uh. Maybe service practices again assuming that you're following proper service practices - and you know we talked about sweeping nitrogen.

As an example i mean you know, i would say the majority of technicians in our industry. Sadly, still don't do that, and so we've got to go ahead and just take that seriously now um there are, even you know, whole shops that don't recover, like you, uh, like you alluded to earlier. So that's the kind of stuff that we got ta get a handle on, because when you start to deal with any level of flammability now it's it's really not a joke. I mean it.

Never was a joke, but it's it's even more so kind of added. On top of that um, so just to be clear, i want to make sure that that nobody's hearing the wrong thing here, just because something has a lower gwp, a lower global warming potential. That does not mean now that it can be vented um. Well, i mean because i think it's, i think, a lot of people confuse it.

They confuse it with naturals and so because with naturals like propane um, those can be vented because they have a you know a very, very low rating. But in this case these cannot be vented. These have to be recovered. I will point out that wow one two three four yf, which is the refrigerant we're seeing in the automobiles, has probably one of the lowest gwps it's less than one uh and we still recover it.

So it's just one of those things these a2l's for our for the most part, are all still covered by 608. We have to recover them, they can't be vented right uh. We want to return them for reclamation, that sort of thing yeah and retrofitting. That's a no-no right: okay, yeah yeah cover that quickly, um.

If we, i don't even know, if i should tell this story but uh, this guy chimed in saying. Well, listen! If it's an r32 unit, you know when we go switch to r32. Can i just charge the 410a unit with you know r32, because half of 410 is 32, i just put half the charge, so that's the logic that scares me: okay, because there are okay. These refrigerants are approved for use in new uh new systems.

Only where you know mitigation has been designed and there's a standard, ul 2-40, that all the equipment is tested to and in that standard is where we have all of the safety criteria that need to be addressed by the manufacturer before they're allowed to release this to The public so we'll see intrinsically safe electrical components, refrigerant detection systems, sensors, those sorts of things that are designed to make this unit as safe as possible. If you're going to try and retrofit an existing system to a mildly, flammable or slightly flammable refrigerant, it lacks all of those all right. There's no safeties in there there's no intrinsically safe electrical components, no ventilation, no anything uh, basically you're creating your own unit. So again, these refrigerants are approved for use in new unit.

You know new systems only that are designed to work with them, yep yep no retrofitting to r32. Once you find out that it's a good refrigerant, which you will i mean, i think, uh in in some ways, uh 32 is actually a superior refrigerant, a pure refrigerant than even 410as. The thermal properties right. So what we're going to see is because you know those types of things we're going to see smaller charges, because we can move the same amount of heat with a smaller volume of refrigerant yeah and, in some cases, potentially uh slightly better efficiencies as well, yep yeah.

So yeah, so there definitely is some things to some things to like about it and that one nice thing is uh with these refrigerants. The pressures are going to be very similar to what we're used to saying we're not going to see a significant change there, not that that really matters anyway, um and the other nice thing uh with r32. Specifically, is that since r32 is a specific, a single component, refrigerant right, you're not going to see glide when you go to some of the other options, that's where you see significant glide right, uh 454b doesn't have a real high glide, it's pretty low. I think it's like 2 degrees or something along those lines, and it's around the same pressure as 410a is now maybe a slightly lower, but again they were used to this already because believe it or not, i think 410a came out.

I want to say it was 1993 1990., so i mean it's been around for a long time, so we're used to these pressures and we're used to the poe oil already yeah yeah and, like you mentioned, that was a huge change. In fact, just to kind of pay homage to the reason why it was such a big change and continues to cause so much conflict um. When we were using mineral oil, we could get away with a lot of stuff. You know mineral oil doesn't have the solvent properties that poe has mineral oil handles moisture, much better than poe does, and so in both of those cases.

You know people weren't pulling as good of vacuums and they weren't flowing nitrogen, and we still wasn't good. It still hurt equipment, but it it. You got away with it to a degree that you don't get away with it anymore, and that continues to be the case even for you know further reasons, not that you're going to have combustion inside of a system with just a little bit of oxygen in it. But for obvious reasons, when you have something that is mildly flammable, you want to keep oxygen air water vapor out of there, you don't you, don't want it in there.

My other primary concern would be the sludge or you know, the acids that can result from that moisture and a lot of these mini splits where we have eevs. They have these tiny, tiny openings and there are check valves and flow valves all through these complex systems. Um you get this super super expensive system. You spent all of this time installing it properly and just a little bit of moisture in there causes some kind of an issue and all of a sudden the whole system is down yeah reactions and, and all that stuff, and that's also you know, we don't always Know how things are going to change as we've seen before uh.

It wasn't necessarily even the refrigerants of the oil. Sometimes it's additives that react with moisture or react with whatever is in the system. That's not supposed to be there and then that causes these um. Unexpected results, and so we really just need to keep all the air all the water out of the system, that's right and that solves a lot of a lot of problems right and by by flowing nitrogen while brazing.

It keeps that cooper cockside from building inside the line, so it's, but we should have been doing that back with r22. You know i mean that's something. That's just following us. No matter how far we go, that's gon na, even it like i'll, tell you.

If someone says how do you endorse this? Listen, i'm not here endorsing any refrigerant. If they told me tomorrow that diet pepsi is the new refrigerant. I'm gon na learn how it works and i'm gon na teach others how to use it. That's my job! That's what i do i immerse myself into it.

I learn as much as i can, and then i communicate it to others that nitrogen that you're speaking of flowing nitrogen, has followed us through the entirety of this. I mean it wasn't as popular back in the day, but it should have been. We should have made a bigger deal of it back then yeah, but and whatever the next transition is going to be it's going to follow us there, too, yep yep, exactly um, all really really good points um for people who want to find out more about this Topic and want to kind of stay uh in front of it. So that way they are not surprised.

What are some of the best resources that they can uh pay attention to. I mean, in addition to obviously your book. Actually, i was gon na say we have a training program and a book that you can get at the esko website. It's the low gwp refrigerant safety book but, as i mentioned at the beginning, i'm one of the members of the ahri safe refrigerant transition task force.

It's the srtf and there's a whole group of people from everywhere all industry manufacturers, oems refrigerant manufacturers, equipment tools, there's a lot of people on this on this project and we're subdivided into subcommittees to address different areas of the uh, the transition and all of the information. That's generated is dumped on this site and available to anybody. So if you go to this, you know to the srt just put srtf and google and it's going to come up ahri google responsibly and on that page you're, going to see you can get on the webinars that we've done. We've done 10, 12 webinars already.

There's a newsletter you can sign up for and there's chapters and in these individual chapters, we're going to you can see uh information that comes right from the horse's mouth. These things are done by the manufacturers by the oems by the refrigerant manufacturers and it's all again available to anybody that wants to go on and read if you're looking for something to occupy your time on a job site, while the vacuum runs, you can go on There and read one of these chapters or watch a a webinar or the newsletter, as there are new developments with this aim act. The newsletter is the best place to because we'll you know the ahri staff put out the newsletter monthly and all of the latest updates with standards codes and the aim after all, in that newsletter yeah. So it's uh, i just looked it up because i i googled responsibly, it's, safe, refrigerant,, safe refrigerant, and if you look to the right there, it gives you a place to um subscribe to the news so that way, you'll receive it as things change again.

Sure enough, it's got all these chapters in here that just kind of explain everything so yeah, it looks, looks like a great resource, there's also a little tab on the left side. That says, ask us, ask the experts. So if there's a question when you're going through the the material and something pops out, that's not answered in that material, you can submit a question and they'll direct it to the right person that answers it. If it's a compressor question they'll go to the compressor manufacture.

If it's a refrigerant question, we'll send it to the and they'll provide a response and we'll either post it uh email it or put it in the newsletter, yeah very good, very good, um, all right. What else do we need to cover anything else we need to? We need to hit on here um. I think we got a lot of it. I just want to reiterate the flammability thing, because that's on everybody's mind, that's preying on i mean i see the comments.

I say i i listen to the conversations. This is not the like, as you said, doomsday we're going to blow ourselves up and chuck in the truck is going to make a bad name for us if you're cutting corners, if you're doing things that are shady, let's just put it that way: yeah you're, probably Going to have some issues, you're probably going to have problems, but if you're doing things the right way, you're not going to be upended. This isn't going to upset the natural flow of things you might have to go, and you know read some things and i know once these systems start hitting the market, the oems are going to have classes on their particular equipment, so they'll say listen. This is what we put in there to sense the leak.

This is how we shut the unit down. This is how we mitigate it and here's how you mess with the settings for that on an installation side. I don't think there's anything extra. We have to do in my opinion.

We might have to run an additional piece of thermostat wire from the evaporator out to the condenser and i think on an installation, that's about it, i mean otherwise it's the same, install as the one you just did this morning, yeah exactly, and i think you know Once we deal with the um, you know kind of figure out what the oems are putting in. As far as refrigerant sensing learning about how that works is is going to matter. You know that's going to be specific to the equipment that you're working on and i will point out. There was an awesome webinar that ahri did it's an rds and it took five of those manufacturers.

They all got together and they came on and each one explained what their sensor does and what alerts it. And how often should these things test themselves like every 10 seconds internally and when should they replace uh be replaced and and what would set them off, and where should i put them? It was a really really good webinar on these sensors. It's called rds 101 and if you go to that same website and go down to the webinars it's on there, so they hit some really cool information in there awesome all right, great um, yeah. It's uh a lot to a lot to learn a lot to stay.

Uh stay up on but, like you mentioned, not gon na, be that big of a deal as long as you're doing what you're supposed to do, and you're at least paying some measure of attention. Make sure that when your particular oem begins to offer this equipment that you take the training so that way, you know the specifics of the piece of equipment that you're working on i'm sure most of them are going to have you know, certifications and that sort of Thing that they're gon na that they're gon na have, as part of it, probably i'll, throw this in the risk. There's a lot of programs out there already all right trading general training safety training on high. You know how to handle a2l's how to in line with the current standards, there's there's standards and codes that are already updated.

That already, you know, allow for the use of a2l's aca hash training. Esco has training uh fsri, which is the fire service. They have flammable refrigerant training on their website uh and then esco does have a safety certification exam. It's a closed book exam and there's a little uh there's an exam on the akka one as well.

There's a lot of training. That's already out there don't wait until the last minute and you're trying to cram through it and figure out. You know you're sitting in the homeowner's backyard, reading this book to figure out how an a2l should be handled. Uh, that's too late, yeah for sure, um and again is the place to go to get some of those classes as well as jason's excellent book.

So go take a look at that and uh and yeah jason. Thank you so much for um being a steward of the trade and making sure that you know it's just great to have somebody keeping an eye out for us. I learned so many things from you. You've brought so many things to my attention over the years, sometimes even by as long as i get a cell phone call like hey brian idiot you're, gon na you're gon na screw something up, stop saying that it's like hey thanks.

I appreciate that. So it's good to have good to have somebody watching out and i really do appreciate it. I don't know if you want to let them know i plan on coming: oh yeah, to the symposium yeah yeah. We need to mention that so yeah jason is going to be at the symposium.

This is a good opportunity for me to plug the symposium, which i always forget to do symposium for you to uh either. You know physically attend. If you can't do that, then we'll also have the session live, streamed and then available afterwards, as well json session, as well as all of them, but yeah we're super excited to have jason. This is his first time at the symposium um we uh.

We had to pay the big bucks in order to get him but uh, but we're thankful, i'm just kidding no uh. No. I was very thankful that jason's coming down it's going to be uh. It's going to be a lot of fun, so if you want to join us in person, um, it's uh it'll be a good time.

Burt will be there, so it'll be fun. You know, you always know it'll be fun. If he's around so he's contagious, he is when he smiles, i have to say i don't even know what's going on, but when he smiles, i start laughing too. No, he probably doesn't know what's going on either.

That's probably why he's smiling? You know, anyway, all right jason. I appreciate you buddy no prob mike thanks for having me thanks for watching our video if you enjoyed it and got something out of it, if you wouldn't mind hitting the thumbs up button to like the video subscribe to the channel and click, the notifications bell to Be notified when new videos come out. Hvac school is far more than a youtube channel. You can find out more by going to, which is our website and hub for all of our content, including tech tips, videos, podcasts and so much more.

You can also subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app of your choosing. You can also join our facebook group if you want to weigh in on the conversation yourself thanks again for watching you.

41 thoughts on “Big refrigerant changes to a2l w/ jason at esco”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joe Cook says:

    Why don’t we just chuck everything off a cliff and move into caves, they are regulating us right back to the Stone Age. I can’t believe the AC industry didn’t pay off the politicians to avoid this crap brought on by ignorant tree huggers. People can’t afford these changes

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John D says:

    When a customer calls in and says their heat pump is on fire. Now they will really mean it. Service area Nepean??

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John D says:

    For goodness sake, Lets just go back to good old Ammonia as a refrigerant. Maybe mix a little Propane in with it. That's the ticket. Are you in Ottawa ?

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Burns says:

    Sooo, why the move to flammable refrigerants that operate under high pressures and temperatures???

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars justinthor says:

    …is it for the environment, or is it just to make a LOT of money switching up the market. Don't get me wrong I support anything that helps the environment, but not scams. Service area Kanata??

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Reggie Van Hoozer says:

    A+ video. Every consumer in USA should view this and understand what it will cost ($ & hassle) them in the future to keep comfortable. You can think your Federal government for this and those that voted for their Congress representatives that put through the legislation. The Climate Changers and Global Warmers are pushing for more than just this change and the end results will not be pretty . The chlorine based refrigerants that supposedly attacked the Ozone layer was the 1-step for phase out. GWP (global warming aka climate change) phase-out is the 2nd step. How is that hole in the Ozone layer doing since you never hear any reporting on it since the phase out of chlorine based refrigerants? Climate Changers/Global Warmers say we only have 8- more years left before the end. Now they want to tax us beyond our means and take away all our comforts. Equity will only bring equal misery to everyone except the elites. ASHRAE color codes for refrigerant don't mean anything to those of us that are colorblind. We have to read the print especially when it comes to traffic signals 🙂

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars D F says:

    Are these people nuts or what? It’s all about being able to charge more money not make anything better. Explosion capability is drastically increased. It sounds like lies to make it sound good but is bad.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Winston Wright says:

    Just so im clear …. they said new equipment for the new refrigerants, but as of now, people still change condenser units and in some cases, the old indoor unit remains including the coil, just with a different metering device, and 410a is used… so my question is…. with A2L's, NONE of the original equipment can be reused? Cuz it sounds like the indoor unit (with these sensors it will need) will have to be a new animal. If so; I can already see hacked together units now. With R32 condensers and metering devices, with 410a coils and indoor units and none of these flammability sensors. But I just want to know if I have that right… that the ENTIRE system is replaced if A2L refrigerant is to be used? …. or WILL there be instances where the condensing unit, evaporator, and metering device are changed, and a detection system is installed into the indoor unit and the furnace remains as-is? A retrofit, so to speak?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 2purplemartin1 says:

    What’s going to happen when a high voltage wire shorts against a copper pipe and blows the charge or compressor blows the terminals out? You will regret using this refrigerant.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Memphis Mafia says:

    Time for everyone to transition to Rapid Locking System fittings to join copper.. You definitely do not want to fire up a torch around these new A2L refrigerants.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars challenger-rta says:

    Nothing like a leaking ac line or coil to burn your house down. Insurance companies will defiantly charge more for insurance premiums.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dan Edu says:

    The answer is to move to mini splits systems, they are cheap, if they break just get a new one, central systems will eventually go away due to its rising cost, because stupid useless laws.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Money Shot Outdoors says:

    So what I’m hearing from this is the government is fucking ya by phasing out 410 driving up the price to the moon before we actually see equipment with new refrig. hit the streets. Not to mention that 410A is 3x the cost today that it was a year ago. Fuck the EPA Service area Barrhaven??

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars maintenance zone says:

    You are participating in the largest scam in world history . ozone is created by by uv light what happens every winter in ant-artica no light youse been played suka

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Official MadGamer says:

    Will you be able to vent the new refrigerants use in residential and commercial sense it has lower gwp or do you have to take the same steps and precautions like the previous refrigerants being phase out..

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jettelo says:

    The biggest thing is YOU CANT BUY A CAN FOR LESS THAN 300 BUCKS. Go Biden 👎👎👎

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pastor Martinez says:

    I can only imagine what this means to insurance companies 🤩,rising their prices and denying to pay if “customers didn’t notified them about the system change-out”…
    Should then be considered an “UPgrade”?🤔
    Don’t get me wrong, I concur on moving towards better and more eco-friendly systems…but not at this expense!
    Many systems will need to be matted to existing furnaces and a big number of indoor units share the “mechanical room” with the water heater!
    I may not be the brightest bulb in the room,but even I can list a few things that just don’t make economic,practical or plain common sense!

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steve Turcotte says:

    As an HVAC contractor for 35 years, this is a huge mistake.
    Keep It Simple Stupid.
    Develop more A1 solutions.
    Liability issue based costs will hurt the smallest contractors and poorest family’s and Seniors, it’s already too much for many.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Pettinato says:

    You work on a unit with flamible refrigerant, then 8 months later the customer has a fire, they're going to blame you. I'm on the front line, I don't like the liability issue.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Pettinato says:

    I looked up "refrigerant explosions" … I found 2 technicians with half their arms missing, one asian guy looked dead. I'm wondering if insurance companies are going to drop anyone associated with flamible refrigerants, service companies, supply houses and manufacturers…liability issue…it just doesn't sit right longterm. I've been in this business since the sixties, R502 was the new refrigerant, I've seen new things come and go , flamible refrigerants are not a good idea.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Pettinato says:

    A fire under a compressor in a refrig …you have propane MIXED with flamible poe oil…napalm bomb

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lawrence Miller says:

    Are slightly flammable refrigerants like the arson at "mostly peaceful protests"? A2L's sound like another government scheme to force sell new products.
    I suppose this explains the label of a flammable refrigerant on a consumer chest freezer for sale in a major dept. store.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tonny Cassidy says:

    As someone who have wprked with lots of r32 systems, they are fine, ive even seen and done once or twice, hot work on those systems without problem, the only time i got issue is when some idiot at my local gas filling station filled my niteogen tank with oxygen,R600a compressor turns into a flamethrower for brief period, but aside from that its not that scary, besides, typical flammable refrigerant use very small amount of charge compared to something like r22 or 410a, never have fire issue with r32 system even when brazing is done without nitrogen (of course, not recommended to do but sometimes you just have to)

    Dont do what i do, it is indeed dangerous and risky, but nitrogenless brazing is very common here in asia and done all the time by most other techs

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael Van Rheede says:

    In the northen states what do you do with the furnaces. Thia now means lone sets cannot go through that area or any area where flue gasses may leak into, and also not anywhere neat where a fireplace or gas stove is

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Derek Mc says:

    Residential hydrocarbon systems are gonna be a big difference from little fridges in the us. I love learning new things and i love the info i get from this channel being a service tech but the majority of new techs doing install for big companies have been trained under those old techs who don’t follow best service practices. They are literally resistant reading manuals and change and we are gonna see some unfortunate news stories in the next few years in my option. Its a flammable gas with no sulfur to indicate a leak to the homeowner like propane and the gas is heavier than air. Not good. We will see.

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Quiroga says:

    Let’s all quit hvac and go solar so these rich fucka can get fucked. I’ve been teaching hvac and doing hvac for 40 years and I’m done

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Quiroga says:

    Fuck the epa. They like to fuck our industry and shit on us. It’s all about greed and the companies that installed all the products that are 410 A and they decide to switch the companies get fucked

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tscotw1997 says:

    It’s called government common sense…. Let’s tackle one problem and create 10 more to regulate! Ohh and homeowners will be paying out the butt because I see my inspection problems going through the roof! Are you in Orleans ?

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars charlie faure says:

    Very good video on new changes to the industry. Was wondering if there will be any significant changes to compressor technology or design?

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Common Sense Fishing says:

    Sorry bud. This "ruling" happened like 8 yrs ago. I been warning everyone about flammable refrigerants for last like 6 yrs.

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Franco M says:

    This change is simply STUPID… Our governments are filled with completely incompetent morons… making robust systems is a worthy expense, but "switchery" is just another fuckin gov/corporation scam.. 🔥flammable..
    Why not defund the f'n EPA,, not defend their stupidity..

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Harry Merritt says:

    42 years tech. Is this best they can figure out. Plane stupid. Going to be trouble 4 everyone. Expensive. Refrigerants cost high camel cock. Y'all enjoy it. I am done.

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Per Braathen says:

    The A3 paper has not R1150 ethene (ethylene) on it.
    Also an used refrigerant on ultra low temperature systems as freeze driers and cold traps.
    I have worked with that stuff on equipment made in the US way back at least 20 Years
    As I remember the makers did not sell the units in the home marked in earlier days.
    Good to see the ULT freezer brands in US convert to hydrocarbons due to export.
    Europe is much harder on out phasing.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joe jones says:

    So glad I am long retired from the trade. Our industry has withered against government intervention. Common sense has been sidelined in favor of the ever changing global warming bs pushed by organizations that know nothing about the trade. Who really gets screwed as a result of this nonsense….the customer. Are you in Nepean ?

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian G C says:

    I just read the recent documents on the EPA website and apparently, there is a requirement for color coded freon line sets. I wonder if they will allow us to simply spray paint old, existing tubing or will we have to install new tubing that is factory color coded? Should we, as a general best practice rule, replace all old line sets when converting/ installing a replacement unit using R32? First for the color code and secondly for the security of eliminating potential leaks in the tubing…

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeffrey rex says:

    Don’t get so worked up everyone. It will be fine, just need to remember to reclaim correctly, purge correctly and just go back to basics and beat practice.

    R454b is already here in the U.K. on our YLAA aircooled chillers.

    As for low GWP you’ve gotta love 1233zd 😉

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars bsair says:

    WTH? I've been alive long enough to have to go through the changes from R12, R22, R134 R41o, and R410A. Now you're telling me I have to now start going back the other way???

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael Stewart says:

    Was getting my panties all twisted up over these A2L's before I considered: A) Fuel Oil will only ignite under certain conditions. B) Propane and Natural Gas are considered highly flammable. These Fuels have been widely used since the beginnings of our Industry. I suppose we will learn to adapt our work practices and respect the potential risks of these A2L's in the same way we have with those Fuels. Many Tech's are already using Pro Press and Zoom Lock. Pretty sure we will see an increase in the use of these press type fittings.
    Still trying to figure out how we are going to change a Reversing Valve without "unsweating" it. LOL

    Everyone be safe out there Service area Ottawa??

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dig says:

    "must mix with air", thanks I'm just a curious person not a pro! What about gas water heater? 454b or R32 best? More efficient operation cost wise? Will it work with my equipment? Commercial or residential? Will a2l blow up my compressor or if you evacuate?

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gerrit Methorst says:

    So, now you can use a match to look for leaks! Just kidding! But really, I thought about doing that on my car, which had propane in it. ( the stuff Canadian Tire sells ). Probably not good, if you can hear the leak.

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jman0870 says:

    Wait until you see the prices on intrinsically safe components…6 years in industrial maintenance working with massive paint booths…get ready to bend over. Things are going to get expensive.

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