Smith highlights growing influence of A2L refrigerants

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Published: 23 April 2018


FETA Chairman John Smith has highlighted the increasing role of low flammability refrigerants and the importance of using them safely.

Smith told guests at the annual FETA lunch that the association continued to support Defra as it looked how best to deal with the "quirks" of the F-Gas quota system. 
He added: "In order to meet phase down requirements of the F-Gas regulations, the use of refrigerants with significantly lower Global Warming Potential is an inevitable requirement, and it’s clear that low flammability refrigerants will play a major part here.

"Our A2L refrigerants working group has released guidance, offering an overview of the new refrigerants, as well as practical advice on their safe use. It seeks to signpost the fact that these refrigerants will play an increasing role in the market over the coming years; particularly with regard to air conditioning.

"The working group will be sharing information and communicating changes and updates as soon as they occur.  It will also seek to work with standards bodies to ensure any new standards being developed reflect the need for wider usage of such products.

"There are some complex underlying technical issues here and the group is liaising with other organisations with interests in this area such as the Institute of Refrigeration and the relevant industry board ACRIB, as well as government departments, with a view to sharing knowledge and best practice across the industry.

Complex issue
"I think it’s fair to say that there has been a step change in awareness recently but, of course, there is more we can do to bring improvements in our own industry’s preparedness. Work on training is very much a case in point and, along with work done across our six associations, we continue to support the view that training goes hand in hand with recruitment and is a key element in ensuring the future success of our economy.''

FETA has also formed a working group, led by Nick Howlett, to co-ordinate activity on indoor air quality (IAQ). Smith said: "There is great awareness of outdoor air quality (in other words pollution) but there isn’t even a clear ministerial lead for IAQ. That said, we recognise this is a complex issue for any government, extending as it does across a number of areas such as public health as well as building regulations.  

"This topic really does impact on all of our associations, and in recognition of that fact, we have formed a pan-FETA group, led by Nick Howlett, the President of HEVAC, to co-ordinate our actions in this area. Public awareness is growing and our working group will be looking to harness that.''

​BBC presenter Steph McGovern was guest speaker at the event at The Brewery in London, which attracted more than 600 guests from the HVAC industry, government departments, associations and institutions.