Last year, we had some fun with the first-ever World Refrigeration Day and some of the other national or international “days” that spice up our calendars.
This year, the second annual World Refrigeration Day on June 26 will be celebrated just a few days after the fifth annual HVAC Tech Day on June 22. That national day was created by ARS/Rescue Rooter in 2016 to show appreciation for our industry’s technicians. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen those techs designated as essential workers, as they labor on the front line to keep us all comfortable through these extraordinary times.
For those of us in South Florida, it is certainly appropriate that both days fall right after the start of summer, June 20. In April and May, we had more than 900 cooling degree days (CDD) here, with a mean daytime temperature just over 80 deg. F. So, our HVAC techs are already working hard and using a lot of refrigerant to recharge systems.
This month also marks the seventh anniversary of Clark’s Remarks, and I would be remiss if I did not thank you for reading HPAC Engineering and this column. In looking back over the past 160+ postings, it is not surprising that the first issue about which I wrote in 2013 – the Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction (Sect. 179D of the Internal Revenue Code and generally referred to as simply 179D) – still faces an uncertain future. Since its inception as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), It has expired and been extended many times. Its most recent lease on life takes it through the end of this year. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Since we are thinking about World Refrigeration Day, it is interesting to note that mechanical refrigeration and their refrigerants have been a yearly (on average) topic. One of the more interesting recent trends in refrigerants is the increase in manufacturers switching from R-410a to R-32. R-32, like R-410a, has an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of zero. However, its Global Warming Potential (GWP) is approximately 30 percent lower than that of R-410a (675 v. 2090). Systems using R-32 are generally more efficient and more economical to operate than those with R-410a, since the R-32 machines may use as much as 20 percent less refrigerant.
Enjoy your summer (practicing social distancing, of course) and thank your HVAC tech for all they do.
A regular contributor to HPAC Engineering and a member of its editorial advisory board, the author is a principal at Sustainable Performance Solutions LLC, a south Florida-based engineering firm focusing on energy and sustainability. Contact him at [email protected].