What is R-454B?

two hvac units sitting on concrete pads outside building

As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog, your HVAC system should rarely require a “recharging” of Freon. If you recall, HVAC (which stands for Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) has a “silent R” which stands for Refrigeration. While we won’t dive into the full refrigeration process today, we do want to touch on an upcoming change. Effective January 1, 2023, all new HVAC systems will be “required” to use R-454b refrigerant. So what is R-454b and how will it affect the future of HVAC maintenance?

What is R-454b?
Simply put, R-454b is a refrigerant replacement blend consisting of difluoromethane and tetra-fluoro-propene. Don’t worry if those words sound overly technical. What’s important is that it’s sold under the trademarked names Puron Advance, Opteon XL41, and Solstice 454b and is a chemical mix the average homeowner will rarely need to worry about.

Is this a nationwide requirement?
Well, not exactly. As you may be aware, states such as California tend to “lead the way” in implementing various requirements. These, in turn, affect entire industries as no single state operates within a silo. Most manufacturers tend to build for the most stringent requirements, which has a secondary effect on other regions.

Utah does not have this requirement. However, most manufacturers will be switching to 454b and many will already have done so by the time you read this blog. 

Why are they making the switch?
Homeowners who have a passing interest in the HVAC industry, or at least have worked on their cars in the past, have heard about R-22. It’s a common type of refrigerant that was phased out in favor of the more environmentally friendly R-410.

However, R-410 still had an environmental impact. With a growing population, and a desire to protect our ecosystem from additional damage, California decided to up the ante. That’s why they’re moving toward R-454b. The goal is to protect the environment through more carbon-friendly initiatives.

How will this affect the future of HVAC maintenance?
As I mentioned, many manufacturers are switching to R-454b already. This will have the nationwide effect of reducing our collective usage of older types of refrigerant.

Within the industry, it will also lead to additional training and ongoing education. HVAC technicians will need to learn how to manage R-454b systems. Also, extremely older systems cannot use R-454b. This will necessitate a gradual compressor replacement in those situations (though many systems installed in the past few years can already handle both types).

Regardless of your system setup, Beehive Heating and Air is here to help

As we mentioned, refrigerant recharges are relatively uncommon in the HVAC industry. For most homeowners, they’ll barely notice the change (if at all).
However, with increased education and training, you can rest assured that we’ll take care of you the right way. R-454b is just one aspect of your HVAC system, and whether you’re using it or an older type of refrigerant, we’ll be here for you. Let us know if you have any questions, or concerns, or need assistance with your HVAC by sending us a message HERE or giving us a call at (801) 980-0903.

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