With immediate effect any product that has not yet been shipped will be R32, with R410A product phased out as remaining stocks deplete over the course of this year. Like-for-like products will carry the same cost despite improvements in design and efficiency, in order to simplify the transition.
As R32 cannot be used in VRF, this is the only range that will continue to use R410A until practical alternatives are developed.
The biggest issue with R32 is its 'mildly flammable' A2L status which carries a higher risk factor than the 'non-flammable' A1 classified R410A in systems with leaks. However, with the proper training that risk can be mitigated, and with this in mind, Toshiba is keen to encourage its customers to be trained on flammable gases assuring compliance and safety. The course should also see engineers through any future refrigerant gas changes to higher flammability. Working with partners, the company is offering a subsidy of £100 off the training with the remaining £250 able to be offset with points gained through the existing Rewards Scheme.
Toshiba has also produced an in-depth, easy-to-read fact sheet about R32 which includes all of the strengths and weaknesses that the engineer needs to know.
Speaking of the turnaround, managing director David Dunn said: 'Listening to our customers is important to our business, and making sure they have the full facts helps them to make realistic and informed decisions. Although it is generally acknowledged to be transitionary, we recognise that R32 is currently the best practical lower GWP refrigerant - we recently presented the pros and cons to our customers who confirmed that they want to commit to it. As supplies of R410A are going to be increasingly limited over the next few years, we want to maximise refrigerant availability for our customers, so it makes sense to commit as fully as the limitations of R32 allow us, now.'