In our last edition of The Gauge, we highlighted the fact that the days of R404A are limited, it’s important to realise the days of all HFC refrigerants are dwindling. The GWP of R404A is almost three times that of R134a so you can imagine with the quota system, this will more than likely be one of the first to diminish – but R134a won’t be too far behind, so what do we use to replace this single component sky-blue baby?

There are already a few lower GWP alternatives available for retrofitting most common refrigerants. These are blends of HFC and HFO refrigerants, with HFO refrigerants having near zero GWP and the HFC component providing similar characteristics to the refrigerant they are replacing. Changing to a low GWP option will prolong the availability of refrigerants that can be used on existing systems. In this article we will highlight some of the better performers in the non-flammable arena, however if you’d like to know more about the HFO options that would require new equipment, simply talk to your local branch manager.

Type ASHRAE No Brand Name GWP (ARS) Glide Flammable
HFC R134a R134a 1300 0.0 No (A1)
HFO/HFC R450A Solstice N13 547 0.6 No (A1)
HFO/HFC R513A Opteon XP10 573 0.0 No (A1)

What is our recommendation?
While very similar in areas, R450A slightly pips R513A in our eyes, let’s look a little closer at why.

  • R450A COP is nearly identical to R134a, R513A is lower, where higher is more desirable
  • R450A Compressor power is nearly identical to R134a, R513A is higher, where lower is more desirable
  • The Mass flow for R450A is more desirable
  • R450A discharge temperature is below R134a
  • The GWP for R450A is lower than both R134a and R513A

One area where R513A does trump our recommended alternative is in refrigeration capacity. Although its other attributes more than compensate for this weakness, as R450A overall is the closest match to R134a.
If you would like to see transparent chart of more HFC alternatives, ask your local branch for your very own Prime Refrigerant Comparison Chart or click the button below. The chart provides a good representation of the abilities of each refrigerant under common conditions to enable a fair comparison. This will enable you to choose the best alternative for you without all the noise!

Compare Refrigerants