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HFCs: What Air Conditioning Customers Need to Know

HFCs: What Air Conditioning Customers Need to Know
The state of California made the news in March with a statewide ban on HFCs, a type of chemical in many cooling devices. HFCs – formerly known as hydrofluorocarbons – have seen widespread use in refrigerants for decades, predating today’s environmental standards.
Originally intended to replace CFCs, a class of chemicals linked to holes in the ozone layer, they are now getting their own scrutiny for potential effects on the environment.

HFCs have become a major focus for industry leaders because air conditioning systems are becoming more common worldwide. Just like sunny Florida, there are many places around the globe that would be much less hospitable without AC.

The Status of HFC in Florida
Naturally, California’s laws won’t affect Florida, but they point to an important trend.
Manufacturers are already moving away from the production of HFCs and installation of HVAC systems that use them. Over time, the supply of HFC for existing equipment is also expected to diminish, making it more expensive to resupply devices that use HFC-based refrigerants.

In response to a 2013 Climate Action Plan from the federal government, HVAC designers have already begun exploring some promising alternatives. The HFC-related elements of that plan were recently rescinded by court order, but major changes are already underway.

A global effort to reduce HFCs in 200 countries continues to produce effects.

As of right now, HFCs are still in widespread use throughout Florida. If other big U.S. states start to ban them, however, suppliers will accelerate the effort to phase them out.

This is sure to impact the Sunshine State in the years to come.

Notes for Consumers and Business Owners About HFCs
The first question many people have is this: Are HFCs safe?

The science on whether HFCs may harm humans is mixed. Research on health impact of HFCs focuses on direct exposure to very large amounts. If your air conditioner springs a leak, for example, call a service technician right away and avoid contact with any emissions.

In general, nobody should have to worry about HFC harm from using the air conditioning. Still, there’s a good argument for upgrading legacy AC equipment designed to rely on HFCs.

That brings us to the next question: What’s in it for me if I stop using HFCs?

Luckily, there’s a clear answer. Both homeowners and business owners can benefit from upgrading or replacing air conditioning units that use older technology.

Getting new equipment with the latest green features isn’t just good for the environment: It also drives down your energy use from the very first time you turn on your new air conditioning. And that’s great for Floridians, who are always looking for ways to save on cooling.

That can save you hundreds of dollars each year in the average home – and thousands, tens of thousands, or even more within large commercial structures.

East Coast Heating and Air Conditioning offers all the most efficient home air conditioning and business HVAC systems around. To find out more or get started, contact us today. We look forward to helping you keep cool for less.

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Call: 386-767-1163