Articles tagged with: refrigerant

Air Conditioner Refrigerants and the Clean Air Act

US EPAA 1987 international environmental agreement called the Montreal Protocol established requirements that began the worldwide phaseout of ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). It was modified in 1992 to establish a phaseout schedule for HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons). While HCFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer than CFCs, they still contain chlorine that destroys the ozone. The United States EPA implements the amended Montreal Protocol via the Clean Air Act.

By January 1, 2015, the USA is required to reduce its HCFC consumption by 90% below its baseline. By January 1, 2020, the USA will need to reduce its HCFC consumption by 95% below baseline.

While chemical manufacturers will not be allowed to produce new R-22; recovered, recycled and reclaimed refrigerant will be allowed past 2020 to service existing systems. This should allow enough R-22 to supply existing air conditioning systems.

HCFC-22, which is also known as R-22, has been the main refrigerant used for residential heat pump and air-conditioning systems for more than four decades. Leakage of a greenhouse gas such as R-22 contributes to ozone depletion. As the current R-22 manufacturing is phased out, manufacturers of residential air conditioning systems are now offering equipment that uses ozone-friendly refrigerants. With these significant changes in refrigerant and new systems, the testing and training of technicians becomes a high priority. The consumer should make sure he uses a company that uses EPA-certified technicians.

Save Money by Knowing Your Air Conditioner’s 3 Basic Needs

checking ac refrigerantThey say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By being aware of your home air conditioning system needs, you can provide the proper conditions to help it work correctly and efficiently. Recognizing the following needs will also help you trouble-shoot issues that come up. Otherwise, you’ll  keep turning the thermostat down without getting cool.

Air conditioning systems are complex machines. When any of the following things change, the system will not be able to cool your home correctly.

  • The system is sized to meet a specific “load” on the house. The load is changed when more heat is created indoors either from more people or appliances or because of changes in the house. Having a party or did some family move back in? Did you do some remodeling? Maybe you added another refrigerator?
  • A certain amount of refrigerant is required. No leaks allowed! Have a professional check the refrigerant level every two years.
  • There has to be a particular amount of airflow across the coils in the outside condenser. Keep things like foliage, toys, fences and furniture from blocking the condenser. Make sure children don’t stuff foreign objects like sticks or grass into the condenser that might bend fins and block airflow.