Natural Refrigerants

Natural Refrigerants

Why Natural Refrigerants?

A. Proactive & responsible care for our planet
B. Global warming
C. Pollution

In 1987 nations came together and addressed this issue and agreed to phase out CFC gases in what is known as the Montreal Protocol

Additional to the this, the Australia Government have made a statement a position on the phase out of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). More information about this can be found here.

Knox Air Pty Ltd prefer using natural alternatives to synthetic refrigerants where ever safe and possible. We can offer you solutions with your old or new equipment. That choice will look after the future generations and save your energy consumption.

We have many testimonials to point to where savings are greater than 20% and worth the return on investment.

Call us today to book your assessment.

Natural Solutions

We all play a part in making wise choices to look after the world we live in. Our responsibility is to offer you solutions that have the least impact on our natural world. Often the natural choice is the most cost effective one.

If you choose natural refrigerant for your heating, cooling or refrigeration system over chemical refrigerant, then you can be certain that if your equipment ever has an accidental leak or if the equipment is removed carelessly the refrigerant gas loss will not affect the ozone layer protection.

Power Saving & Cost effective

The sooner you change refrigerant, the sooner you will reduce your power consumption. Being conservative, greater than 20% saving in energy costs is expected, regardless of the equipment size. This is due to the natural refrigerant gas density and its ability to absorb and reject heat rapidly.

Natural hydrocarbons are not a new

They have been used in Europe, Russia and many parts of the globe for many years. They have drawn attention to themselves as a solution for our common refrigeration needs. There are synthetic refrigerant blends that are “Half as bad” but why choose a refrigerant with a short shelf life?

There is a great need to tighten up the appropriate use off hydrocarbon refrigerant. They should only made availability to proficient and trained people for the good and safety of all.

Common refrigeration equipment

Natural refrigerants are suitable for many common positive displacement refrigeration systems. Single head split systems are usually suited however a VRF system would not due to the size of the smallest room and the system refrigerant capacity.

Screw compressors and reciprocating compressors in a conventional winery or dairy chiller system are usually best suited to be optimised and worthwhile because of the power savings vs capital expenditure option.

Plant room chillers equipment will require improvements and require a ventilation system to exceed the minimum standards.

Risk Management

Natural refrigerants should only be used after thoughtful consideration and appropriate risk assessment carried out by a competent person.

Like all refrigerants, they all have handling hazards that need to be assessed. All natural hydrocarbon refrigerant equipment needs to be in a well-ventilated space away from people and the indoor equipment located suitably in minimum room size relevant to equipment gas charge capacity.

The reason for this is simple to guard against accidental damage or thoughtless incompetent service work. There are Australian standards that govern these parameters

Old equipment

Most mature equipment can be converted over with minimum optimisation prolonging the life, reducing the mechanical stress on the compressor due to lower operating pressures and higher suction pressures. In some cases, oil replacement may be necessary.

For safety it is important to have an assessment carried out by a responsible refrigeration service technician. Never attempt to be a back-yard expert.

The use of natural gases is not only beneficial to our environment, but there are financial benefits as well.

KnoxAir Pty Ltd is an authorised distributor of Engas Pty Ltd hydrocarbon refrigerant products. They have a reliable, consistent behaviour in a refrigeration system due to their extremely high purity of 99.5%.


You may find that your questions have already been answered. Take a look through our FAQ to see if you can find what you are looking for.

Are Hydrocarbon Refrigerants Safe?

Hydrocarbon Refrigerants are flammable but are safe to use if handled correctly. It should be noted that millions of tonnes of hydrocarbons are used safely every year throughout the world for cooking, heating, powering vehicles and as aerosol propellants for hairsprays, deodorants, whipped cream and cooking sprays etc.

In refrigeration and air-conditioning systems which use chemical refrigerants, oil mixes with the refrigerants and travels around the system. All these chemical refrigerants become flammable due to the oil vapour content of the gases when being discharged from the systems. Most chemical refrigerants produce toxic by-products and poisonous gases following accidental release in the presence of an adequate heat source.

Procedures and standards have been developed and adopted to ensure the safe use of Hydrocarbon Refrigerants. Australian Standard AS 1677-1998 includes comprehensive procedures for the safe use of all refrigerants including hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon Refrigerants do not spontaneously combust on contact with air. Three elements need to coincide.

1) There needs to be a release of hydrocarbons.
2) The hydrocarbon needs to mix with the correct proportion of air, the range of flammability being between 2 and 10%. Outside of these limits combustion cannot occur.
3) An ignition source exceeding 440 degrees Celsius must be present. If either one of these three elements is eliminated, combustion cannot occur.

At engas safety is our first priority. We provide and maintain a healthy working environment at all times. We ensure adequate control of health and safety risks associated with any use of Hydrocarbon Refrigerants. Hydrocarbon Refrigerants can only be handled by technicians who have been trained by Engas.

How do Hydrocarbon Refrigerants affect the environment?

The rate of climate change expected over the next 100 years is unprecedented in human history. It is difficult to grasp the full meaning of Global Warming as we rush to the next event of the day, yet face it we must or else allow the inevitable to happen. There is nothing new in extinction.

Mr Klaus Toepfer from the United Nations Environment Program said in March 2004, “Fighting Climate Change requires Governments, Business and Citizens across the Globe to harness technologies in the pipeline and act”. At Engas we believe that Hydrocarbon Refrigerants are one of those technologies that can make a big difference. Not only to the environment but also significantly reducing your energy costs.

Do you have to change the whole air conditioning unit when converting over to hydrocarbon refrigerants?

No. Only the chemical refrigerant in the unit will be replaced. However, every unit is different therefore inspections and assessments are important before conversion.

Why hydrocarbon refrigerants are not commonly used in air conditioning units already?

Hydrocarbon refrigerants were used a long time ago, prior to 1930. Then, non-flammable chemical refrigerants (CFCs) were developed to substitute hydrocarbon refrigerants. These CFCs were used up untill 1990. However, due to the global warming and environmental issues hydrocarbon refrigerants have made a comeback with better performance and efficiency. Hydrocarbon refrigerants are part of the Global Solution to combat Climate Change.

(Used with permission from //