We’ve heard about ozone depletion for almost 20 years as a major problem caused by a variety of chemicals we use almost every day. Propellants in aerosols, certain cleaning materials and the refrigerant in your Washington DC air conditioning system are all culprits in the depletion of the ozone layer. So when you purchase a new AC unit, you want to be sure you won’t continue to contribute to the problem.
What Causes Ozone Depletion?
The number one contributor to ozone depletion is chloroflourocarbons, the man-made chemicals used in air conditioners since Thomas Midgley, Jr. invented the compound in the 1920s. When these chemicals reach the stratosphere, the ultraviolet light from the sun breaks the compound down to its base components, including chlorine atoms which subsequently break down thousands of molecules of ozone before dissipating.
The earliest CFCs used in air conditioners were incredibly damaging to the ozone. But since legislation was passed to stop the damage and new technologies were developed, there are less damaging alternatives.
Specifically, the refrigerant R410-A is considered environmentally friendly in that it doesn’t cause ozone depletion. Some air conditioners still ship with the older refrigerant R-22, however, which has been linked to ozone depletion and will no longer be allowed in new products after 2020.
Which Products Can You Buy?
When searching for a new Washington DC air conditioner, look for a system that uses only R410-A. On average, these systems tend to cost more money, but keep in mind that in less than 10 years, refrigerants for older R-22 models will become much more sparse while R410-A will be an industry standard.
For more information about how to choose the right air conditioner for your home, give Service Doctors a call today!