Today, refrigerants are heavily regulated hydrofluorocarbons used in more than just heat pumps and air conditioners. You will find them in automobile air conditioning systems, freezers, refrigerators, solvent aerosols, and fire suppression systems. The EPA requires that air conditioning repair technicians in Arlington, TX, and elsewhere hold a section 608 certification to work with any refrigerant for health and safety reasons. Scientists have been searching for and developing climate-friendly and efficient refrigerants while reducing flammability risk. Below are things you should know about refrigerants.
The AIM Act
On December 27, 2020, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act was passed and signed into law. In the act, the EPA is mandated to:
- Encourage the adoption of next-gen technologies.
- Reduce the manufacturing and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons for air conditioning and refrigeration purposes in 2036 by 85%.
- Minimize the release and maximize reclamation from equipment such as residential heat pumps and air conditioning systems.
This legislation is rapidly changing some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, for cooling and heating your Arlington, TX home. Residential heat pumps and air conditioning are among the appliances affected by this new legislation. Hence, when having your air conditioning repair technician recharge the HVAC system, you should ensure that the refrigerant meets the requirements of the above regulation.
Reducing the Consumption and Production of Refrigerants
The Global Warming Potential of each HFC is a metric the EPA uses to gauge its effect on the climate (GWP). The higher the value, the more a gas heats the Earth’s atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide emissions. This technical metric measures the energy and gas emissions that will be absorbed over a particular length relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide. Experienced heating and air conditioning repair technicians use refrigerants with a low global warming potential.
It is optimal for manufacturers to use refrigerants with a lower GPP than those currently used in domestic air conditioners and heat pumps. By 2036, the phasedown, which started in 2022, will significantly reduce the use of HFCs. Manufacturers of HVAC systems backed the regulations per a global agreement to decrease the utilization of climate-warming refrigerants. Therefore, you should ensure that your reliable air conditioning repair technician uses a refrigerant with low GWP when recharging your air conditioner.
New Refrigerants Have a Lower Global Warming Potential
R410A and other modern refrigerants used in air conditioners and heat pumps do not deplete the ozone layer. However, they have a larger global warming potential (GWP). Because of this, another coolant phaseout for R410A, also known as Puron, is currently underway. It will be replaced by new compounds, such as HFCs & HFOs, which do not damage the ozone layer & also have a lower Global warming potential value. So, is your HVAC system leaking refrigerant, and do you want an air conditioning repair technician to refill it? You might consider using HFOs and HFCs that don’t damage the ozone.
Why Should You Care as a Homeowner?
The manufacturers of home air conditioners and heat pumps are developing and adapting to provide the most efficient air conditioners and heat pumps that comply with the new efficiency criteria and the rules for refrigerants. An air conditioning repair technician will refill your HVAC system regardless of the model or the type of refrigerant it utilizes. For homeowners to be proactive and prepared for the future, it is beneficial for them to be aware of how the residential air conditioners and heat pump regulatory environment is changing and how it is evolving.
Besides heat pumps and air conditioners, there are other home appliances, such as refrigerators, that refrigerant changes affect. Additionally, revisions will be made to ensure that fire and construction codes align with federal requirements. These new regulations will most certainly impact homeowners, regardless of whether they are looking for a new house or are making plans for interior remodeling.
The new prices of residential air conditioners and heat pumps might increase because tougher AC efficiency requirements are also more expensive. Additionally, this might be caused by the different safety technologies and measures that cost more. You might be fined if a technician installs a residential air conditioner or heat pump that isn’t up to federal specs.
Types of Eco-Friendly Refrigerants
One of the environmentally friendly refrigerants that an air conditioning repair technician may refill your air conditioner with is R454A. It has a global warming potential of 239. This refrigerant is mildly flammable. Compared to R404A, it has a 94% increase in global warming potential. The refrigerant replaces R507A and R404A in the newer systems. It gives your HVAC system better performance and higher cooling ability.
The R1233zd coolant is one of the environmentally friendly hydro fluoro-olefin (HFO) refrigerants. It has an appropriately low GWP of 6, and its Ozone Depletion Potential ranges from 0.00024 to 0.00034. In addition, it has a suitable low Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of 6.
One of the recently developed environmentally friendly refrigerants, R1233zd Refrigerant, satisfies the most current regulatory compliance requirements. It is non-flammable for use in pressure centrifuges and has an efficiency comparable to R123, although it has a higher capacity. So, you should have an air conditioning repair technician in Arlington, TX install a system that uses this coolant.
R1234ze refrigerant is another HFO-type coolant that an air conditioning repair technician can install in your air conditioner. It has a significantly low global warming potential. It is a good option to consider when considering the environmental impact of the coolant and regulatory compliance. This coolant replaces R134A in air conditioning applications and medium-temperature refrigeration. While R134A has a GWP of 1300, this coolant has 7.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Refrigerant
There are many changes in refrigerant production and regulations governing it. Hence, you must ensure that you choose one in line with the said laws. Do you need your HVAC system recharged? Contact us at Minuteman Heating & Air.