In a recent Sunday newspaper, the comic strip Zits had the teenager Jeremy intensely studying some advanced calculus, chemistry, and American literature. When he reaches time to study science, the word “chloro-fluro…” appears in one panel only to have Jeremy walk away, bits of knowledge leaking out of his brain. The punch line has him staring at a kitchen appliance and saying, “Can somebody remind me how to make toast?”

I’m suspecting brain freeze/brain lock came when he saw the word “chlorofluorocarbons.” It is a word capable of shutting down most minds.

What I would hate to tell Jeremy is that he will not only have to deal with chloroflurocarbons, but also hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, hydrocarbons, and a few more which I pretty much only know by their acronyms.

It isn’t that our industry is complex enough requiring math, science, and chemistry to go along with manual skills. It also throws words at you that make sense when you break them down, since all of the above relate to the chemical makeup of the refrigerants. Thank goodness we just toss out terms like CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, HCs and that new one, HFOs.

The only real advantage regarding all this is that only one or two types of refrigerants are the “in” refrigerants. Currently HFCs and HCs are in. HCFCs are eventually to drop from the radar screen, while CFCs are all but gone.

My only other thought is either Jeremy didn’t get very far into the science book or it is so old that it doesn’t acknowledge any refrigerant beyond CFCs.