While the part they play in the overall problem is not huge, HVAC systems do release gases that contribute to global warming.
The amount emitted is generally quite small, but these gases are highly potent heat trappers, and when they reach the atmosphere they outperform carbon dioxide on a molecule-to-molecule basis by a significant margin.
Learn more about how air conditioning systems affect the ozone with greenhouses gases and how regular maintenance can help.
Greenhouse Gases And AC Units
The cooling chemicals used in AC units are called refrigerants. One of the more commonly used refrigerants is a substance known as HCFC-22, which comes from a class of chemicals called hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Like other HCFCs this frigid, colorless gas can punch holes in our atmosphere’s ozone layer, which protects us from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation emitted in massive quantities by the sun. HCFCs are not as destructive to the ozone layer as CFCs, a chemical cousin formerly used as an AC refrigerant. Nevertheless they are still highly reactive with ozone and are being gradually phased out of production.
HCFCs don’t normally leak from well-maintained air conditioners, but when they do trickle out it makes cooling systems operate far less efficiently. Low HCFC levels can also cause a host of mechanical problems that shorten the lifespan of an otherwise acceptable AC unit.
HVAC Maintenance Is Good For The Planet
Alternative refrigerants are available that will neither destroy the ozone layer nor contribute noticeably to global warming, and these substitutes are gaining market share even as we speak. But it will be another 15 years or so before HCFCs disappear from the marketplace in the United States entirely.
We can all do our part—and save ourselves money—by having our HVAC systems checked regularly for refrigerant leaks and any other problems that might impair their functioning. If you know your AC has not been checked recently for leaks and maintenance, please give us a call.
Along with maintenance, Cool Blew Inc. offers energy-efficient equipment that can trim your heating and cooling budget—and reduce your impact on the environment.
Call Us Now To Make An Appointment For HVAC Maintenance Or Replacement