Editors Blog

I Think... Al Gore Is Good for HVACR

September 17, 2007
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Al Gore, his movie, and his most recent concerts on seven continents have put the words “global warming” on everybody’s lips. What can the average person do about global climate change? Cut down on toilet paper? Share a shower? Ride a mo-ped to work? Why not control his or her indoor environment without enlarging their carbon footprint.

Some enterprising manufacturers, or contractors for that matter, should be taking advantage of the current consumer “climate” by really getting behind R-410A refrigerants and systems, or high SEER condensing units, or 90 percent furnaces, or dual-fuel systems, or any energy conserving device. Sure they cost significantly more … but consumers can actually do something significant about CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Whether you line up politically with or against Al, you’ve got to admit he’s an asset for our industry.
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How Green is 410A

joe maurer
September 24, 2007
When it comes to Global Warming gases how Green is 410A? Yes, R410A is an HFC refrigerant and therefore no direct threat to the Ozone Layer. And yes, it is a more efficient refrigerant than R22 for residential applications, but does this make it a green option? Guess what. R410A has a GWP (global warming potential) of almost 2000. This means that for every 30 lb. container contractors carry out of the wholesale supply houses 60,000 lbs. of CO2 are represented. How much of this stuff is being recovered and returned for destruction? At $10 per pound or more not much I'd guess. And how many pounds will ultimately be leaked into the atmosphere from leaks? Personally I suspect for every pound of R410A manufactured worldwide at least seventy-five percent will find it's way into the atmosphere. Our Industry in my opinion has gotten totally carried away with the idea that R410A is a Green refrigerant. The object in marketing I guess is, you say it enough, and it becomes the truth. It is very surprising to me we haven't been called out on this yet. I think part of it may be in deference to the chemical manufacturers who we are all in debt to for providing refrigerants to save the ozone layer. Now we must call upon them again to produce refrigerants that are both ozone and greenhouse friendly. And in the meantime it wouldn't hurt to quit advertising R410A as some panacea for the environment which when it comes to global warming it clearly isn't.

How green is R410A?

joe maurer
September 24, 2007
Hi. I posted a comment to your Al Gore article entitled "How green is R410A" earlier in the day on Monday, Sept. 24, 2007. What's up? My e-mail is maurerjoe@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Al Gore is good for the industry.

September 25, 2007
I can't refute your claims about R410A, but that was not my point. I don't agree with 75% of what Al Gore says or stands for, however, if a large portion of the consumer market is asking for options to help "save the planet", why not give them something.

How Green Is 410A

John Conrad
October 1, 2007
Joe you are passionate about the industry and doing the right thing for your customers. Take that energy and focus on providing energy saving solutions for your customers. When customers inquire about "green" refrigerants you can educate them and redirect them into "energy conservation".

Why not give them something

joe maurer
October 1, 2007
Well I sort of regret getting into this, I was really just looking for an opportunity to express my opinion about labeling refrigerants green when they are at best questionable. As I understand it you are stating that since a sizable portion of the buying public has been influenced by Al Gore and others to 'save the planet', we, the HVAC Industry, 'should give them something' as you paraphrase it. In other words, they want it, we can provide it, let's see that they get it. Hey, as a contractor I couldn't agree with you more. The rub begins for me as a contractor when we provide the customer products and services which we claim are going to help 'save the planet', (in this case R410a and global warming) when in fact with a GWP of almost 2000 they are going to do just the opposite. At best this is false advertising. At worst it represents the cynical attitudes that have so often characterized business response to issues such as 'ozone depletion' and 'global warming'. I've just finished eight hours of on-line instruction to renew my A/C license as mandated by the State of Texas. At least two hours of that instruction was borrowed from such luminaries as ASHRAE and others and covered in some depth such fun subjects as ethics and having a code of good business practices. In my opinion this issue of calling R410a the "environmentally responsible choice" and any number of other phrases in public advertising or in talking with customers represents a breach in ethical behavior. The refrigerant manufacturers have had several decades to research and come up with refrigerants which are both ozone and greenhouse friendly. Instead , they in cahoots with this industry, have chosen to pursue HFC refrigerants with high GWP's and have the audacity to call them 'green'. This is not a solution which is going to lead to good customer relations. People are not stupid, they will catch on, and we will be the ones who look like fools, or worse.

Joe Maurer's comments

Mark Skaer
October 4, 2007
This is just a quick note to Joe Maurer, who has responded to John Conrad's blog. In the big picture, I think it would be a good idea to contact NEWS refrigeration editor Peter Powell, as he can supply Mr. Maurer with answers to all refrigeration- and/or refrigerant-related questions. You can contact Peter Powell directly by e-mail: peterpowell@achrnews.com. Just thought this might help Mr. Maurer in his quest for refrigerant and refrigeration answers.

Mr Peter Powell, refrigeration editor

joe maurer
October 9, 2007
Ok, Mr Peter Powell, it sounds like the News staff has pushed this unpleasantness in your direction. Is it possible that you might consider opening up for Industry discussion in the News the topic of green refrigerants? I am sure you are aware that the European Union plans to phase out R134a beginnning in 2012 because it has a GWP 0f 1400. Several refrigerant manufacturers have already stated(also in the News) that by that date they will have available replacements with GWP's below 100. Here is a question: If that's the case why can't they come up with a replacement for R410a as well? I can tell you this issue about HFC refrigerants and their contribution to global warming is big and mostly unexplored publicly. The Union of Concerned Scientists(USC) figure the total contribution to global warming of refrigerants is close to ten percent. A website which I believe has a good orientation is carbonissues.com. If you find the courage to pursue this I wish you good luck. You'll need it. On the other hand, the planet is melting and the process seems to be accelerating dramatically. Thanks in advance from all those who will come after you.

R410A warming your globe....

Siwwy People
July 29, 2009
As we speak, hundreds of thousands of 410A condensers are running discharge temperatures 40-50 degrees higher than their R22 counterparts. China laughs.



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