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How do I know if my refrigerant is an HCFC?
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By Phil Chambers

Reg 29 of the Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regs 2002 (Amended 2008) (commonly called the F Gas Regulations) requires all people to ensure that all HCFCs in refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment shall be removed by 1st January 2015.

There is evidence that HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) damage the ozone layer, hence the reasons for reducing and eventually removing them.  But how do we know if we are using HCFCs? (Note that, at present, HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) are acceptable.)  

The table below lists common refrigerants and what they are.  Simply refer to markings on your equipment to determine which refrigerant is installed. This will be stated either on the equipment external label (typically with air conditioning equipment) or on a vessel within the equipment (typically with chillers). If this is not accessible, note the model and serial numbers and contact the supplier who should then be able to tell you what gas is used.

If the refrigerant is an HCFC, then arrange for it to be removed by a person competent to do this and replaced by an acceptable alternative before 1st January 2015.  Note that it must be collected and disposed of correctly, not vented to atmosphere (which would negate the reason for doing this.) 

Beware that replacements might have compatibility problems with seals and lubricants, and also may not be as efficient as the present refrigerant. You need to seek advice on this.

Refrigerant

Composition

Type

R-11

R-11

CFC

R-12

R-12

CFC

R-13

R-13

CFC

R-14

R-14

PFC

R-22

R-22

HCFC

R-23

R-23

HFC

R-30

R-30

HCC

R-32

R-32

HFC

R-114

R-114

CFC

R-115

R-115

CFC

R-123

R-123

HCFC

R-124

R-124

HCFC

R-125

R-125

HFC

R-143a

R-125

HFC

R-134a

R-134a

PFC

R-141b

R-141b

HCFC

R-142b

R-142b

HCFC

R-143a

R-143a

HFC

R-152a

R-152a

HFC

R-290 (propane)

R-290 (propane)

 

R-401A, B or C

R-22/152a/124

HCFC

R-402A or B

R-125/290/22

HCFC

R-403A

R-290/22/218

HCFC

R-404A

R-125/143a/134a

HFC

R-405A

R-22/152a/142b/C318

HCFC

R-406A

R-22/600a/142b

HCFC

R-407A, B, C, D or E

R-32/125/134a

HFC

R-408A

R-125/143a/22

HCFC

R-409A or B

R-22/124/142b

HCFC

R-410A or B

R-32/125

HFC

R-411A or B

R-1270/22/152a

HCFC

R-412A

R-22/218/142b

HCFC

R-413A

R-218/134a/600a

HFC

R-414A or B

R-22/124/600a/142b

HCFC

R-415A

R-22/152a

HCFC

R-416A

R-134a/124/600

HFC

R-417A

R-125/134a/600

HFC

R-500

R-12/152a

HFC

R-501

R-22/12

HCFC

R-502

R-22/115

HCFC

R-503

R-23/13

HCFC

R-504

R-32/115

HFC

R-505

R-12/31

HFC

R-506

R-31/114

HFC

R-507A

R-125/143a

HFC

R-508A or B

R-23/116

HFC

R-600

R-600 (butane)

 

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