Your HVAC system utilizes refrigerants, and the refrigerant cycle, in order to either provide heating or cooling to your home. That refrigerant within it can have disastrous effects on the environment if it were to be released into it. There are now strict regulations on what to do with refrigerants and who can handle them.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream Without the Ozone Layer
Everyone has heard about the hole in the ozone layer. When scientists first discovered it back in the 80’s it was huge news. And rightfully so! It was determined that refrigerant gasses having been vented into the atmosphere were the cause of the hole. Every time the gasses were released into the atmosphere, they added to the depletion of the ozone within it.
The ozone layer is an incredibly essential part of human life – and most life, really. That layer of the atmosphere is what helps to protect us from the insane amounts of solar radiation that blasts the earth, every second, of every day. Specifically, the ozone layer blocks out ultra violet (UV) radiation. It blocks out that UV radiation at a rate of 98%! The other 2% that gets through is what causes sun burns within ten minutes. When there’s a hole in the ozone layer – ALL of that solar radiation gets through.
New Regulations For Refrigerants
Since the discovery that the refrigerants of the time were ozone-depleting substances (ODS), the EPA, and the government, have formulated and instituted regulations and procedures for handing the disposal, transport, destruction, and recycling of refrigerants.
A licensed HVAC technician will need to collect the refrigerant into a DOT-approved vessel for storage and transport. From there the refrigerant can either be stored long-term, or taken to a facility for destruction or recycling. But what – cannot – be done with the refrigerants at all is venting into the atmosphere.
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