One of the hottest issues facing the United States in recent years — in more ways than one — has been the debate over climate change. While much of the attention has been focused on whether or not environmental change is even a reality, the problem has now gained enough traction for government agencies and organizations to take action.
The Daily Caller reported on how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is implementing new regulations focused on phasing out hydro-fluorocarbons (HFC) through the use of air conditioners, refrigerators, and other consumer products.
EPA chief Gina McCarthy is taking the lead role in a United Nations expansion of a current global treaty covering ozone-depleting substances. Her hope is that these recent regulations focused on the handling and ban of HFCs where environmental-friendly alternatives are available will convince other countries to join in the United States’ fight to limit these chemicals.
“Nations that are serious about fighting global climate change need to come to the table in Dubai with a sincere intent to negotiate a global agreement to phase down these harmful chemicals,” McCarthy wrote.
The EPA is joined by the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense in issuing these rules, as well as pledges from 20 different companies to help phase out the use of these green house gases.
“As residential and commercial HVAC systems age and natural processes such as electrolysis happen within the coils, the high pressure gas can escape into the environment, further damaging the stratospheric ozone layer,” says Cale Mazarz, Sales & Marketing Manager, ABS. “The movement to eliminate this from the HVAC industry has been a positive step towards protecting our environment from future man made harm. Change isn’t always overwhelmingly popular however the Green Movement has forced the HVAC industry to make necessary changes to protecting our environment for many years to come. Companies have spent countless hours training and certifying technicians to properly install and service equipment with the new R410A environmentally friendly refrigerant which can be costly; however, being the professionals in the industry, we have a responsibility to support and implement these changes so we do our part to protect the environment.”
Even though large organizations such as the EPA will be necessary to completely overcome the use of HFCs, some companies are also taking some initiative into finding environmentally-friendly versions of their products.
According to Gizmag, Mercedes is the first car maker to equip their production vehicles with CO2 air conditioning systems in response to a European Union (EU) directive based on climate protection, which will take effect in 2017.
These CO2 air conditioning systems are not only said to perform better than conventional systems from automakers or the average air conditioning company but are also overall more environmentally friendly. These systems operate at a pressure 10 times higher than today’s typical R134a refrigerant systems, at over 100 bar.
Mercedes has been drafting standards along with the EU that they also hope will influence other car makers to begin developing their own environmentally conscious air conditioning systems.