F-Gas Frequently Asked Questions - VIVA Training Academy

Frequently asked questions about F-Gasses at VIVA Training Academy and F-Gas courses.

Questions & Answers about F-Gas

What is F Gas certification?

F-Gas certification is a legal requirement for engineers working on appliances that include F Gases, such as air conditioning and heat pumps.

How long does F Gas qualification last?

An F Gas Category (1 -4) qualification lasts for five years.

Is R32 an F Gas?

R32 is a low GWP (Global Warming Potential) HFC F Gas. R32 is inline with F Gas targets for 2025 because it is less harmful to the environment.

Which is better R32 or R410a?

R32 is better than R410a because it is more environmentally friendly. It’s GWP is around 30% lower than R410a. R32 is also much cheaper than R410a and air conditioning systems running on it use about 20% less refrigerant.

Is R32 refrigerant dangerous?

R32 is considered to be a Class A, low toxicity F Gas. It is mildly flammable but it is very difficult to ignite.

What is an F Gas engineer?

An F Gas engineer is someone whose gained F Gas certification so can legally work on appliances containing related refrigerants, including air conditioning and heat pump systems.

What does F Gas mean?

F Gas stands for ‘Flourinated Gas’, the potentially environmentally harmful gases used in refrigerant-based appliances, such as air conditioning and heat pumps, that are being phased out/replaced with low Global Warming Potential (GWP) alternatives as part of efforts to stop climate change.

What’s the best replacement for R22?

The best replacement for R22 is usually R-407c. It is less expensive than some of the other alternatives and has a very low loss capacity. You should never add a different refrigerant to a system that still contains R22.

Can you still use R22 after 2020?

R22 stopped being produced in 2020. Only recovered, recycled or reclaimed supplies are available. You are not required to stop using an R22 system, but new supplies are no longer available.

Can I replace R22 with R410a?

R22 and R410a refrigerants are not interchangeable so extensive system changes are required before using the new F Gas. It is possible – all moisture must be removed from the system, leaks must be found and fixed, and R410a requires a polyester-based synthetic lubricant vs R22 using a natural petroleum based oil. R410a also builds up system pressure much higher than R22, so a system built for R22 may not work with R410a. In many instances, it may be easier to get a new, R410a compatible system.

What happens if you put R410a in a R22 system?

You shouldn’t put R410a in a R22 system unless significant changes have been made. R410a must be used in a bone dry system, uses different lubricant and builds up much higher pressure than R22. If you use the wrong refrigerant it will significantly impact efficiency and eventually cause the system to breakdown.

Is oxygen a greenhouse gas?

Yes, oxygen is a greenhouse gas. It is naturally occurring, along with carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and water vapour (H2O).

Which is the most dangerous greenhouse gas?

Carbon dioxide and methane are both very dangerous. Methane is 84 times more potent than CO2 on initial release but doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for as long. Carbon dioxide can linger for thousands of years and is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.

What are the 5 main greenhouse gases?

The five main greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

Which country emits the most greenhouse gases?

China emits the most greenhouse gases, with total emissions of over 9Bn, followed by the United States, India and Russia.

What are F Gas Regulations?

The F Gas Regulations were introduced by the European Parliament in 2014, in order to phase down the use of harmful refrigerants, cutting the availability of high GWP HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) by 79% between 2015 and 2030. The regulations effect manufacturers and installers of air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump equipment.

Is R134a an F gas?

R134a is an F Gas used that was used in automotive air conditioning and in fridge freezers. It is currently being phased out but still used as a replacement for R22 and R12 in medium and high temperature refrigeration applications, in both commercial and domestic buildings.

Which refrigerants are banned?

Whether a refrigerant is banned depends on the system it is being used in. All F Gases, both HFCs and PFCs, are banned in any product where the refrigerant can escape to the atmosphere. In hermetically sealed systems, R134a, R245fa and R365mfc will be banned in new systems from 2022. In air conditioning and heat pump systems, all F Gases will be banned from new single split systems that contain less than 3kg of refrigerant from 2025. Commercial systems will still be able to use low GWP F Gases after this date.

Is R134a going to be phased out?

Yes, as of January 2021 R134a is banned from use in new domestic fridges and freezers. From January 2022 it can no longer be used in new hermetically sealed systems and in small domestic heat pump and air conditioning applications, the ban starts in January 2025. R134a is being phased out of use for new centrifugal and positive displacement chillers from January 2024.


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