Heat pumps have become increasingly popular in recent years as a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. The growth of the heat pump market in Europe is being driven by increasing awareness of the environmental benefits of heat pumps, government incentives and regulations promoting the adoption of renewable energy sources. According to a report by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), the market grew by 12% in 2020 and will continue in the upcoming years, with the market expected to reach 5 million units by 2030. Heat pumps – the green alternative for cooling and heating systems While the rise of heat pumps in Europe is not directly linked to the recent ban of PFAS and F-Gases, the regulations surrounding the use of PFAS in heating and cooling systems have created a demand for alternative solutions, which has contributed to the growing popularity of heat pumps. As a result, manufacturers of heating and cooling systems are searching for alternative options that comply with these new regulations. Heat pumps can use refrigerants that are more environmentally friendly and have a lower global warming potential (GWP) than traditional refrigerants containing PFAS. For example, many heat pumps now use natural refrigerants like CO2, Propane or Ammonia, which have lower GWPs and are less harmful to the environment. A long-standing producer of propane systems offers standard propane heat pump line Refra was one of the first to start the production of propane refrigeration units approximately 10 years ago. Over time, the company has developed reliable and high-quality propane chillers, and in 2018 it also started producing propane heat pumps. Refra team has observed stable sales growth of natural refrigerant units over the past 7 years, and in 2022 was surprised by the 150% increase in sales of propane systems. After seeing the huge popularity of propane and heat pumps, Refra decided to release a standard product selection line to help customers choose the right product faster and easier. Sales chart of Refra company © Ilona Brant Pavšukova „Our main business model is still unique refrigeration products that fully meet the needs of our customers, but seeing such a demand for heat pumps, we decided to prepare for an increase in orders in advance. Our customers will still be able to order customized propane heat pumps, but if they want faster price offers or production terms, they will be able to choose products from the standard catalogue.“ – says Refra marketing manager Ilona Brant Pavšukova. In the refrigeration market, heat pumps are used for both cooling and heating applications, making them a versatile solution that can be used in a wide range of settings. They are highly energy-efficient and can provide significant cost savings on heating and cooling bills compared to traditional systems. This is because heat pumps transfer heat rather than generating it, which requires less energy. In the heating market, heat pumps are becoming more popular as an alternative to traditional heating systems like furnaces and boilers. The ban on PFAS is the beginning of the era of natural refrigerants The ban on PFAS in Europe is expected to have a significant impact on the refrigeration industry in the upcoming years. The use of PFAS in refrigerants is already restricted, and the ban will further limit the production and use of certain types of PFAS in the region. This will require the refrigeration industry to develop and implement new technologies that comply with the regulations. This shift towards more sustainable refrigeration systems is essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment and human health. One potential solution is the use of natural refrigerants, which have lower environmental impact and can provide efficient cooling and heating without the use of synthetic refrigerants. Heat pump production line at Refra factory in Lithuania © Photo by Ilona Brant Pavšukova Refra, like any other progressive business, strives to contribute to the reduction of pollution in the world and believes that ecological solutions are the future of production. „For this very reason, Refra changed the course of its production 10 years ago by incorporating a more sustainable company culture and introducing Natural Refrigerants into production. Right now, CO2 and propane systems make up the majority of the products we manufacture.“ says Ilona Brant Pavšukova, Marketing manager at Refra. You can check the company’s products with natural refrigerants on their website at www.refra.eu or download the standard heat pump line brochure HERE.