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HVAC Breaking News: Is there a distinction between A2L compressors and R410A compressors?


Breaking News HVAC News Hobbs & Associates

The HVAC industry is undergoing a significant refrigerant shift with the emergence of A2L refrigerants like R-32 and R-454B. The good news for HVAC professionals is that the compressors used in A2L systems closely resemble those in A1 systems, minimizing the learning curve.


Here are five key considerations for these new compressors:


  1. Safety First: While A2L compressors offer improved leak mitigation, electrical components require special attention due to the mildly flammable nature of these refrigerants. A2L compressors will be marked as such to comply with safety standards.

  2. Tools and Practices: Technicians can leverage existing tools for A2L systems, but electronic tools must be rated for flammable refrigerants. Recovery equipment designed for A2L refrigerants is a must during service or installation, and a well-ventilated area is essential to mitigate potential risks.

  3. Compressor Burnout: Similar to A1 systems, proper installation and maintenance are crucial to prevent compressor burnout. In the event of burnout, using manufacturer-recommended acid test kits for specific A2L compressors is essential. Replacement compressors should be designed for the designated A2L refrigerant.

  4. Installation Process: A careful sequence is recommended when installing a new A2L-optimized compressor. This includes safely removing the refrigerant, purging the system, checking for leaks, making repairs, pressure testing, evacuating, and charging the system per manufacturer recommendations.

  5. Service and Repair: During service, all refrigerant in an A2L system must be recovered with equipment designed for this purpose. Ventilation is crucial in case of leaks, and only qualified personnel should handle installation or service due to the flammable nature of A2L refrigerants. The process for handling compressor burnout is similar between A1 and A2L systems, emphasizing the importance of proper installation and maintenance.

Here’s the bottom line. Working with A2L compressors aligns with established guidelines for A1 systems. Adhering to industry best practices and manufacturer recommendations ensures safe and optimal system performance.


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