Operating a business with a "green" way of thinking may require making some changes to your building. One of the changes you may need to make involves your air conditioning system. If your system is old, it probably operates with the use of R-22 refrigerant–better known as Freon. Freon works well for this purpose; however, it is not the safest material for the environment. If you want to keep your business as green as possible, here are two things you should know about Freon and your AC system.
The Problem With Freon
In the 1970s, central air conditioning became popular in homes and Freon was the chemical used as the coolant. Freon is a gas that is mostly odorless and tasteless, yet it can be toxic to people and the environment.
All central AC systems require some type of coolant because the coolant extracts heat from the air. As this happens, the air is cooled and distributed through a person's house or business. It was not until 1994 that researchers discovered dangers with Freon, and at that time they linked Freon to ozone depletion. While Freon is still widely used, manufacturers of AC systems are now beginning to replace it with other types of coolants that are not harmful to the environment.
Freon itself is not harmful as long as it is contained, but coolant leaks in AC systems are quite common. When an AC system gets a leak, the Freon escapes and ends up in the atmosphere. If you breathe it in it can make you sick, and when it gets in the air it can destroy the ozone layer.
Freon is also commonly used in AC systems in vehicles; however, most vehicles now use a chemical known as HFC-134a to operate the AC systems.
Changes You Can Make
One of the problems with AC systems that contain Freon is that Freon may be the only coolant they can use. The systems might not be compatible with other coolants, and replacing the Freon with a different coolant could cause the system to malfunction or stop working completely.
The only way to know if your system is compatible with other coolants is to hire a company that offers air conditioning repairs. They will be able to tell if the system could use a safer type of coolant or not. If it can, you could have them replace the coolant in the system. This would make the system safer and more environmentally-friendly, and it may even help the system run more efficiently.
If your current AC system has had its share of leaks and problems, or if the system cannot use a different type of coolant, it might be time to consider investing in a new system. Not only would a new system operate more efficiently, but it would also contain a safer type of coolant.
One of the most common alternatives to Freon today is a refrigerant known as R-410A. This coolant does not contain harmful chemicals that could destroy the earth, and it will become the new standard in AC systems in 2015. Most air conditioning repair companies understand the laws relating to the use of Freon and R-410A, and a technician will be able to answer any questions you may have about this.
Operating a green business often does require making some changes, which could include replacing your AC system. New AC systems use less energy and operate in cleaner, safer manners.
To learn more about your AC system and the options you have to make your business greener, contact a company that offers air conditioning repair and services.