Old Vs. New: Benefits of Modern Refrigerants
KENNEDY AIR CONDITIONING, SERVING THE GREATER LITTLE ROCK AREA, DISCUSSES HOW MORE EFFICIENT REFRIGERATION METHODS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE COST AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, REDUCE HARMFUL EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
Refrigerants are substances or fluids used in home heating and air conditioning. Modern refrigerants have many financial and environmental benefits over older commonly used refrigerants. In the 20th Century, fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were commonly used as refrigerants. These older refrigerants have been largely phased out in more recent years, however, because of their harmful effects on the ozone layer and contribution to global warming.
Fluorocarbons such as CFCs add harmful greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Such gases are thousands of times more harmful than carbon dioxide and continue to increase global warming. Older residential AC units that use CFCs or other fluorocarbons account for some of these gases. With modern-day energy standards increasing, new methods of refrigeration are being implemented and are continuing to be developed to provide residential refrigeration with less emission.
“Next generation” refrigerants such as R-32 and R-410A are phasing out the older, more harmful, and less efficient refrigerants used in residential heating and air. The R-number designation refers to the specific mixture of fluids that make up that refrigerant. R-22 (Freon® and others), for instance, is harmful to the ozone layer and was discontinued for use in new AC units in 2010. R-410A, on the other hand, is a new mixture that has been approved for use in residential AC units as a replacement for R-22 or other similar refrigerants. R-410A is an HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) that does not contribute to ozone depletion and will be the new standard for U.S. residential AC systems as of 2015. Because R-410A can absorb and release more heat than R-22, new AC compressors can run cooler, reducing the risk of compressor burnout due to overheating. R-410A also functions at a higher pressure than R-22, so new compressors are built to withstand greater stresses, reducing the chance for cracking. R-32 is an even newer refrigerant that will likely gain popularity over the next few years. R-32 efficiently conveys heat; it can reduce electricity consumption up to approximately 10% compared to that of AC units using R-22. Compared to R-22 and R-410A, R-32 has a global warming potential (GWP) that is one-third lower and is remarkable for its low environmental impact.
In general, new refrigerants like R-410A and R-32 run more efficiently, in turn reducing energy cost and harmful emissions. To ensure your unit is using the R-410A or R-32 refrigerants, or for more information, contact Kennedy Air Conditioning. Not only will you help save the environment, you will also enjoy saving money on energy costs by using a more efficient unit.