CONCISE CONSUMER GUIDE FOR BUYING A CLIMATE FRIENDLY REGRIGERATOR AND AIR CONDITIONER
Refrigerants used in Appliances are Changing
- Currently, refrigerators and air conditioners contain coolant gases that are climate disasters.
- Most appliances in use contain hydrofluorocarbons, man-made gases that have a huge potential to cause global warming.
- You can see what type of refrigerant is used by looking inside at the product label(see above photo).
- Estimates are that over 90% of these gases end up in the atmosphere, despite regulations on containing leaks during their life time and safe disposal.
- BUT THIS IS CHANGING AND AS OF 2021, THERE IS NOW A REASONABLE SELECTION OF APPLIANCES, PARTICULARLY REFRIGERATORS, THAT USE CLIMATE FRIENDLY COOLANT GASES, PRIMARILY R-600, or ISOBUTENE.
- Energy Star and Green America and other sites have recently posted links to lists of over 290 refrigerators, small and large, that use R-600. Also new air conditioners. The prices are equivalent to older appliances using the climate destroying gases. Find what you are looking for here: CLIMATE FRIENDLY COOLING CAMPAIGN – Find Products
- OTHER alternatives to HFCs that can be used in cooling systems, such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrocarbons are able to play the same role in cooling and have low global warming potential compared to hydrofluorocarbons. Even more efficient alternatives that have proven to work but are not marketable as yet include magnetocaloric refrigeration and electrochemical compression.
- Hydroflouroolefins (HFOs) are tapped to be the industry replacement for HCFCs, as they have low GWP and no ozone depletion potential (ODP). It is being patented by companies such as Honeywell and Arkema as Solstice and Forane.
- If you need a new fridge, buy one that uses GreenFreeze/hydrocarbon technology
- Keep the coils of your refrigerator (located at the back) clean and fill empty space in the freezer with jugs of water
- Tell your supermarket and other stores to switch to climate-friendly cooling appliances
- See the campaign by Green America Climate-Friendly Supermarkets | Green America
- Responsibly recycle your old refrigerator and AC unit according to the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program or if you live in NYC DSNY – CFC Recovery Appointment Request (nyc.gov)
Guide created by Gordon Ryoo, 350NYC Intern, student at NYU Gallatin