Stationary Refrigeration - Resources for Homeowners
This information can help homeowners learn more about purchasing, maintaining, and disposing of stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.
Purchasing and Replacing Equipment
- Learn about refrigerants before purchasing or repairing a residential air-conditioning system or heat pump here.
- Learn about how much energy your refrigerator, freezer, or window air conditioner uses from HomeEnergy online. The Department of Energy provides a formula for calculating energy usage for various appliances.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing new equipment. Products that have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR® label (such as refrigerators, freezers, and other appliances) lower greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines established by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Maintaining and Servicing Equipment
- Review frequently asked questions about maintaining and servicing air conditioners or other household equipment that could contain ozone-depleting substances (ODSA compound that contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion. ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, chlorobromomethane, and methyl chloroform. ODS are generally very stable in the troposphere and only degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere. When they break down, they release chlorine or bromine atoms, which then deplete ozone. A detailed list (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/ods/index.html) of class I and class II substances with their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers are available.)
- Review what you should know about servicing or replacing an air conditioner in your home in this fact sheet.
- Learn how the phaseout of HCFC-22 (also called R-22) affects residential air conditioning in this fact sheet.
- Learn about EPA’s requirements for:
- Find a technician who can conduct a whole-house assessment and perform recommended energy improvements through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Technicians can also be located through the several trade groups.
- Learn about EPA’s safe disposal requirements for small appliances in this fact sheet.
- Review frequently asked questions about safe disposal of refrigerated household appliances.
- Learn how to dispose of stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment through EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.
Flammable Refrigerants and Technician Safety
Refrigerants with “22a” or “R-22a” in their names are highly flammable substances that are not approved for use in existing air-conditioning systems. These refrigerants have never been submitted to EPA for review of their health and environmental impacts. Using these propane-based refrigerants in an air conditioner that is not designed for flammable refrigerants poses a threat to homeowners and service technicians. EPA is investigating instances where propane-based refrigerants have been marketed and used as a substitutes for hydrochlorofluorocarbonA compound consisting of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. The HCFCs are one class of chemicals being used to replace the CFCs. They contain chlorine and thus deplete stratospheric ozone, but to a much lesser extent than CFCs. HCFCs have ozone depletion potentials (ODPs) ranging from 0.01 to 0.1. Production of HCFCs with the highest ODPs are being phased out first, followed by other HCFCs. A table of ozone-depleting substances (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/ods/classtwo.html) shows their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers. HCFCs are numbered according to a standard scheme (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/geninfo/numbers.html). (HCFC)-22 (also called R-22) and has taken enforcement actions where appropriate.