The air conditioning industry has made rapid progress in the last two decades. There has been a steep rise in the overall temperature in the world and this has increased the demand for air conditioners. The different companies manufacturing the ACs have always tried to cope with the ever-changing technology and have brought the most efficient ACs to people. From quick cooling features to motion sensors installed in the ACs, the transition has been amazing. There has been another transition in the AC that many people have not been aware of; that is the development of the new generation refrigeration. So, what exactly does new generation refrigeration mean?
You may be aware of the ozone depletion and how it has increased global warming. This has had a direct result on the temperature rise. What’s worse is the fact that we are unknowingly adding to that temperature rise with the use of air conditioners. Yes! A recent study suggested that the warm air that is emitted through the fan from the ACs is increasing global warming. This is something that took everyone by a storm, especially the AC manufacturers. The gradual depletion of the ozone layer was becoming a rather critical issue and that had to be addressed immediately. This initiated a change in the refrigerant that was used in the air conditioners.
Brief History Of Refrigerants
Over the years, AC manufacturers have come up with the most modern refrigerant system so that it affects the ozone layer the least. When ACs were first introduced, they used an R12 refrigerant. There were very few AC manufacturers back then and they all used the same refrigerant. However, this was declared a potential threat to the environment. It had a 1.0 rank in the Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and the 100-year global warming potential of various refrigerants amounts to a staggering 10900. This was a shocker and that is why after a decade or so it was decided that this system of refrigerant should be abolished once and for all.
After the R12 faded out, the R22 (HCFC) came into the picture. The regulations had become stricter by then and the manufacturers came up with this alternative refrigerant that had a lower Ozone Depletion Potential with a 0.055 ranking and 1810 global warming potential of various refrigerants. Sadly, this was the time when there was a huge demand for air conditioners and people bought ACs like crazy. So, even though the ODP was less, the number of users increased and the balance was restored to destroy the ozone layer. An air conditioner became a necessary evil in the house; you couldn’t live without it and you were indirectly harming the environment when you were using it.
The Rise Of The New Generation Refrigerants
Much later when the R22 refrigerants were considered potentially harmful for the environment and also the high cost of R-22 refrigerant, there was an urgent need for a newer refrigerant and that is when the new generation refrigerants were introduced. The R410A which had a 0 ODP rank and just over 2000 global warming potential. It was a massive improvement from its predecessors because this refrigerant was the first that did not actually contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Nowadays, most of the refrigerants used in the ACs have the R410A refrigerant.
Quite recently, there was another refrigerant that was used and that was the R32 model. This is the latest in the market and has not been used by many of the AC manufacturers. With 0 ODP and 675 global warming potential, this one is surely the best refrigerant to date. It is still under the scanner for some modifications so that once most of the companies start using it, the ozone layer depletion potential decreases to a great extent. Both the R32 and R410A come with a bag of features such as:
- De-minimizing direct GWP
- Lowest indirect GWP
- Safer than other refrigerants
- Low emissions and lower risks of leakage
- Minimal environmental impacts
- De-minimizing ODP
The list goes on and on but these are some of the points that have been well covered by both the refrigerants.
Price Predictions Of The New Generation Refrigeration
Refrigerants in the AC have gone through a lot of change in the last few decades. Manufacturers have become more conscious about the environment and the good news is, the ozone layer depletion has not only stopped in the last few years but scientists and astronomers are of the opinion that a small part of the ozone layer has been revived. That is a very big achievement and it proves that everyone in the world is contributing for the greater good. Coming back to the refrigeration and the new generation models, the price is definitely on the higher side.
Different manufacturers have different ways of cutting the cost down but hypothetically, if everyone maintained the same quality and the same features but changed the refrigeration to the new generation model, i.e., the R410A or R32, then there would be quite a difference in the price levels from before. Here are few reasons for the price to rise in the coming times:
- Manufacturers have to comply with various refrigerant laws that are being imposed to keep the environment safe. This has made the refrigerants more expensive than ever.
- Along with the change in refrigerants, the overall technology and features of ACs have also changed in the last few years. These also contribute to the overall price rise.
If you are looking to buy an AC in the next couple of months and want to get an idea of the refrigerant that is used in it, you can always get in touch with a professional who will explain the type of refrigerant that is used. Apart from that he/she will also explain what the benefits of that refrigerant are and the options that are available amongst the other models in order to keep the environment safe and be a responsible user of the new generation ACs.