WASHINGTON and OTTAWA — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has announced a goal — for which it is seeking the support of government and safety authorities — to voluntarily phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants used in household refrigerators and freezers after 2024. AHAM said this effort builds on a history of environmental stewardship that includes significant gains in energy and water efficiency and the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances without losing these efficiency gains.
Home appliance manufacturers previously transitioned away from CFCs and HCFCs, refrigerants that are ozone-depleting substances, to non-ozone-depleting HFCs. These moves were made in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulators. HFCs have become a concern, however, since they have a relatively high global warming potential (GWP). Recognizing this concern, AHAM said the industry is already well on the way to transitioning away from the use of HFCs in foam insulation by 2020.