The Air Conditioning Contractors of America has released “Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems Using Flammable A3 Refrigerants,” a technical bulletin addressing challenges technicians encounter when working with these products.
This bulletin focuses on ASHRAE-designated “A3” refrigerants that are commonly found in refrigeration systems, walk-in coolers, food merchandisers and service cases, beverage dispensers, vending machines, icemakers, and water fountains. It addresses issues including safety, installation, start-up, maintenance, parts replacement, refrigerant leak checking, transportation of units, cleanliness, and decommissioning.
The refrigerants specifically mentioned are R-290 (also known as propane), R-441A, R-600a (also known as isobutene), and R-1270. However, the Technical Bulletin applies to all A3 refrigerants. As allowed by the U.S. EPA, these A3 residential and commercial HVACR systems are small charge units; depending on the allowed use, 57-300 grams maximum refrigerant charge.
“Often, convenience stores, grocers, and other commercial outlets have great difficulty finding technicians who can service vending machines, beverage cases, and reach-in coolers because they use flammable refrigerants,” said Paul Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “It is important that contractors and technicians review this technical bulletin, not only for their safety, but also as an opportunity to expand their service offerings. By following guidelines in this ACCA product, contractors can confidently work on these systems.”
Glenn Hourahan, P.E., ACCA senior vice president of engineering and technical accreditation, added: “ACCA is proud to lead the industry effort addressing contractor and technician concerns regarding flammable refrigerants. This technical bulletin is the beginning of ACCA’s work to prepare the contracting industry to safely handle flammable refrigerants, ensuring consumers have peace of mind when purchasing systems that rely on these products.”
The technical bulletin is available as a free PDF download for ACCA members.