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Post# 959010   9/25/2017 at 08:58 by CleanteamofNY ((Monroe, New York)        

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How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations

Environmental rules, like any regulation, upend industries and business behavior in obscure ways. Ultimately, however, like atax they usually leave consumers on the hook for the costs. I know because I'm one of them.

Why it matters to most of you: Nearly 90% of U.S. homes have air conditioners. If a technician encourages you to replace your A/C because of environmental rules, don't take the bait without first getting a second (and maybe a third) opinion.

Refrigerant 101: Refrigerants enable air conditioners to keep homes cool. There's three kinds to know that regulations are affecting.

  1. Most air conditioners installed before 2010 use refrigerants that deplete the Earth's ozone layer. In industry talk, it's called Freon R22.
  2. Most newer air conditioners use refrigerants that don't hurt the ozone layer but do contribute to climate change because they emit greenhouse gases.
  3. The air-conditioning industry is researching refrigerants that are friendly to both the ozone layer and climate change, which could be on the market in the next few years. The drawback: They're mildly flammable.

There's more to the story.....


Post# 959015 , Reply# 1   9/25/2017 at 09:15 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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My aircon has R410A/440 and on the package it said environmentally friendly, I don't know anything about refrigerants though

Post# 959029 , Reply# 2   9/25/2017 at 11:30 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

It was an earth-friendly flammable refrigerant in the refrigerator that exploded in the UK and caused that awful fire in the high rise apartment building. If they come up with enough of these wonderful ozone saving refrigerants,  we will have to move kitchens back out to a separate building like in colonial times when open hearth cooking caused so many fires. 

Post# 959051 , Reply# 3   9/25/2017 at 14:48 by CleanteamofNY ((Monroe, New York)        

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I don't think we should go down this path, no matter which gas is used, they all have drawbacks and the flammable one should not be mandatory in states that shakes, JMHO!

Post# 959161 , Reply# 4   9/26/2017 at 01:45 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Flammable refrigerants are a step BACKWARD----SAFETY!!!!!!These would be TOO DANGEROUS to use in HVAC units home or commercial and automotive.Some time back there was a hideous fire in a car that had the retrofit replacement flammable refrigerant-all folks perished in the car.HVAC engineers try to use refrigerants that are non toxic or flammable.Best to stick with what we were using-the leakage from those isn't that great-----AND----fun fact Volcanic eruptions release MORE CFC's into the atmosphere than man has!!!!

Post# 959167 , Reply# 5   9/26/2017 at 05:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

There's a new brand name: Volcanic Refrigerants.

Post# 959176 , Reply# 6   9/26/2017 at 06:31 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Another thought-some of the newer refrigerants maybe LESS efficient than the older CFC based ones!So systems will have to work HARDER and draw more power.Is this REALLY better?????

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