Cooling, Refrigerants, Technology

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Introduces First Line of Precision Air Conditioners to Use Low-GWP R-32 Refrigerant

March 02, 2023
  • New airCore heat pump systems are the first precision air conditioners in the U.S. to use low-GWP R-32 refrigerant
  • The energy-efficient airCore line makes it possible to decarbonize heating and cooling for residential and light commercial applications
  • Best-in-class piping length of 245 feet offers greater application flexibility

Johnson Controls-Hitachi has introduced airCore, the first line of precision air conditioner (PAC) heat pump systems in the U.S. to use R-32 refrigerant. R-32 is a refrigerant with low global warming potential that produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than R-410A. Low-GWP refrigerants such as R-32 reduce the impact of heating and cooling equipment on the environment and can meet upcoming refrigerant regulations.

The new airCore heat pump systems from Johnson Controls-Hitachi are the first precision air conditioners in the U.S. to use low-GWP R-32 refrigerant.

Many states, such as California, have already established regulations that will phase out the use of high-GWP refrigerants in HVAC equipment, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently proposed regulations that allow only refrigerants with a GWP of 700 or lower to be used in new comfort cooling equipment starting January 1, 2025. By using low-GWP R-32, airCore units can comply with regulations before they go into effect.

In addition to using low-GWP refrigerant, the airCore line of universal outdoor units deliver energy efficient performance and make it possible for residential and light commercial applications, including small markets, restaurants, salons and medical offices, to decarbonize their heating and cooling when the electric units are powered by renewable electricity. The units may also qualify for state rebates and incentives.

The airCore line features industry-leading piping lengths of up to 245 feet, which allows for greater installation flexibility and is especially advantageous for building configurations in coastal regions. With a maximum external static pressure (ESP) of 0.8, airCore units can be used in parallel with existing ducted equipment. In buildings that use multiple airCore units, the units can be networked and controlled without a larger building management system through easy connection using BACnet or Modbus adaptor.

“The new Johnson Controls-Hitachi line of airCore heat pump systems is changing the game for PACs,” said Manuel DelaFuente, vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls-Hitachi North America. “With low-GWP refrigerant, high energy efficiency and longer piping lengths, airCore units can help more buildings reduce their environmental impact and keep occupants comfortable in a more sustainable way.”

The line of airCore heat pump systems can operate in temperatures as low as -13 F, reaching up to 45,000 British thermal units (BTUs). Units features compressor core heating technology with advanced, multipulse control that improves efficiency in low-ambient conditions and improves startup time as well as a smart defrost control. This control monitors the amount of ice accumulated on the outdoor unit, then clears it to ensure maximum operational efficiency. Conventional units run defrost on a timed cycle, which means defrost mode can run unnecessarily and affect unit efficiency and occupant comfort. The airCore smart defrost control only runs defrost mode when it senses that ice has collected on the outdoor unit and can learn from previous defrost conditions to optimize defrost cycle frequency and minimize heating disruption.

The airCore line comes standard with FrostWash, a self-cleaning technology that can improve indoor air quality. As dust, dirt and condensate collect on the heat exchanger, FrostWash freezes the moisture. It then melts and flushes the moisture and trapped contaminants away. Optional accessories, such as human sensor, Wi-Fi adaptor for airCloud Home, H-Link adaptor for airCloud Pro, third-party thermostat adaptor and low-ambient cooling kit for temperatures as low as -40 F.

About Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning:

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning is a global air conditioning manufacturer established in October 2015 as a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (now Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc.) Approximately 15,000 employees have offered high-quality residential and commercial products, services, and solutions to our customers. We have released the most diverse HVAC products in the global market including ductless solutions, chillers and residential air conditioning solutions that exceed customer expectations at all times.