Lennox, a supplier of HVAC equipment, offers the following tips on how to get the most from an HVAC purchase as environmental regulations on refrigerants are on the horizon.
For TFM’s coverage of environmental regulations on refrigerants, read “Refrigerant Phase Outs: What Do They Mean To Facilities?” from the May 2006 issue.
Replacing an older HVAC system with a unit that uses the environmentally friendlier R-410A refrigerant–three years before the chlorine-containing R-22 refrigerant is phased out–is a wise decision for organizations seeking to control operational costs. Yet not all R-410A units and manufacturers offer the same benefits. Making an informed decision can influence how much you save and how well the unit performs.
The following tips for choosing a new R-410A system will help organizations make the best HVAC decision for themselves:
– Buy a system offered by a company that sells a wide range of R-410A systems. A wider selection allows you to order exactly the type of system you want, including your choice of energy-efficiency ratings, variable air volume designs, humidity control options, and more.
– Make sure your contractor is R-410A certified and has been thoroughly trained in the installation and servicing of these units. Manufacturers have redesigned R-410A units to handle the new refrigerant’s higher pressure, and these units must be installed and serviced differently than other systems. You can see an example of the training required for installing R-410A units in the Service + Support segment of www.lennoxcommercial.com.
– Select a system from a manufacturer with the ISO 9001 quality designation. This is your assurance that consistent processes are in place to create products that meet the industry’s highest standards.
Saving with planned replacement of R-410A systems
While HVAC manufacturers may continue producing units that use the old R-22 refrigerant for the next three years (with production of R-22 units ending by 2010 and the refrigerant itself made until 2020), there are several reasons to act now to replace a unit that is 10 years old or older with a new R-410A system.
Organizations that install a new R-410A unit will be able to realize the full life of their equipment without concern over the future availability of R-22 refrigerant and necessary service components. Production caps are expected to significantly increase R-22 servicing costs, so R-410A units can help minimize future expenses as well as the problems of finding a qualified servicing contractor as R-22 units become less common.
There are other benefits: today’s R-410A units are significantly more efficient than older systems, which will allow organizations to better control their energy usage. And because R-410A contains no chlorine, it meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest, most stringent environmental guidelines.