Hawkes Refrigeration Engineers Limited is a registered installation and maintenance company to allow us to work with Hydro-Carbon Refrigerant gases safely.

R404a Refrigerant Gas usage will not be allowed in new equipment after 1st January 2020

Use of R404A

The use of HFCs with a GWP above 2,500 will be banned in all new commercial refrigeration equipment placed on the EU market after January 1st 2020. Therefore no a/c or refrigerator/freezer manufacturer will be able to sell equipment after 1 January 2020 if it uses R404A.

Why stop using R4040A now?

Recently one of the largest manufacturers of refrigerants stated that they intend to stop selling high GWP refrigerants such as R404A in Europe from 2018. The price of R404A has risen dramatically over the last year!

Legislation impacting use of R404A The revised f-gas regulations will become law from 1 January 2015. Three key areas of legislation will impact the future choice of refrigerant gas. These are:

  1. Cap and phase-down of the supply of HFCs via a CO₂ e-based quota system.
  2. Bans on the sale of new refrigeration and air conditioning equipment using higher GWP Fgases.
  3. Service and maintenance bans that will ban the use of virgin HFCs with a GWP of 2500 and above in refrigeration equipment with a charge size of greater than 40 tonnes CO2 equivalent, from 2020.

All HFC refrigerants will be subject to the supply phase-down. However, gases with a high GWP will be more severely impacted due to their requirements for large amounts of supply quota. These gases will also be subject to additional control due to restrictions on the supply of new equipment using them, and service and maintenance bans impacting their use in existing equipment.

R404A (GWP 3922) is the most widely used gas in the EU in stationary refrigeration systems, commonly used in low-temperature commercial systems such as those used in supermarkets. The use of R404A will be impacted by all three of the legislation measures detailed above. Therefore a solution is needed to replace this refrigerant whilst continuing to deliver the required cooling reliably and efficiently.

Alternatives to R404a

Using another gas in place of R404a will depend on the equipment in use and its purpose. Hawkes can advise on what to do for both new equipment and existing, please contact us if you need help

Until now there have been three main replacements for R404A.

Two are sister refrigerants to R407C, the initial favourite for use in unitary air conditioning systems using different percentages of the HFC refrigerants R134a, R125 and R32. Also R407A – a blend of 40% R134a, 40% R125 and 20% R32 – with a GWP of 1990.26 Feb 2014.

R22 Refrigerant Gas is now phased out as of 1st January 2015

If your equipment is still using R22 gas, Hawkes Refrigeration Engineers can provide a full consultancy, installation and replacement service to help make your transition to industry compliant refrigeration equipment safe, economic and efficient. Most importantly,
the careful and safe removal of the R22 and its integral chemicals is foremost to an effective exchange.


Hawkes are full memebrs  of the F-gas Elite REF1011267  click here for more information.