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Podcast: The low-down on the HFC phase-down

The fifth episode of AIRAH on Air, AIRAH’s regular podcast series, explores the HFC phase-down.

The phase-down is a worldwide initiative designed to mitigate climate change by reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – synthetic gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration that can be thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming.

In a wide-ranging conversation with HVAC&R consultant Vince Aherne, F.AIRAH, host Mark Spencer provides a comprehensive overview of the HFC phase-down.

Subjects explored include refrigerants and HFCs, the Montreal Protocol and Kigali Amendment, the state of play, the aims and purpose of the phase-down, potential unintended consequences, and refrigerant trends.

“Regardless of your experience and knowledge of HFCs you’ll want to tune in to learn about the environmental impact, why restrictions have been put in place, the flammability trade-off, and how the industry’s been adapting since the Australian HFC phase-down began in January 2018,” says Spencer.

Aherne breaks down the complex concepts and issues, making them more easily digestible – for those with little knowledge of HVAC&R, and also for those who work within it.

“The HFC phase-down has been introduced by the Australian government to help Australia meet its international commitments to the Montreal Protocol, and in particular, the Kigali Amendment,” says Aherne.

“Technically, hydrocarbons are an excellent refrigerant, and will do anything pretty much an HFC will do. The issue with hydrocarbons, of course, is that they are a flammable gas, and that brings to bear a whole range of issues from a design, installation and maintenance point of view.”

Listen to episode five of AIRAH on Air here or stream it below.

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