Refrigerants Are A Nightmare For The Climate. Alternatives Must Spread Fast

"PHILADELPHIA — When Jennifer Byrne, owner and technician at Comfy Heating and Cooling, gets a call to come and fix a relatively new air conditioning system, one of the first questions she asks is if the house has just been remodeled.

Here in West Philadelphia, Byrne has found shoddy renovations where installers skip steps such as pressure testing after installation. That can result in ice buildup and leaks of the chemicals that cool, called refrigerants. ...

It’s not a small matter. When refrigerants leak out like this, they are highly destructive to the Earth’s sensitive atmosphere. They’re “the most potent greenhouse gases known to modern science,” as one research paper put it and they’re growing fast.

One of the most common ones, with the unfriendly name R-410A, is 2,088 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide, which comes from burning coal and gasoline. So an essential way that people are staying cool is making the world hotter and more unstable."

Isabella O’Malley reports for the Associated Press October 13, 2023.

Source: AP, 10/16/2023