Ozone and Freon Fraud
by W. Ed Parker (KENTUCKY)
There is solid information that ECO-EXTREMISTS, CORPORATE CEOS, GOVERNMENT ENVIROCRATS, and MEDIA MOGULS form a loose coalition to promote radical, costly, self serving goals, and to mislead and confuse the people at large about environmental problems. Further, many so called scientists, who live from direct or indirect U.S. tax funds, ape these extremist views for personal gain.
For example, Federal Government Agencies have prepared, including color coded maps, plans to establish BIO-DIVERSITY STRATEGY for all American land and people. This plan will, if implemented, establish "HABITATS" for all our people; except for the ELITE.
In some areas of Kentucky, such as Jefferson County, citizens are forced to have annual auto emissions tests because of EPA regulations. The EPA and local regulators use slight of hand data by sounding local alarms whenever Ozone levels, as measured by them, reach the mid-point of their scale. Their recorded readings have not reached the upper level of their scale at least as far back as 1980. Further, there is not scientific data to support their claimed danger if the upper scale is reached. Everyone knows when it is hot and or humid, just by going outside their homes or work places.
In a recent article in the Kentucky Journal of Commerce and Industry, 8/8/98 "EPA LIED", it was pointed out the EPA had "cherry picked" data on secondhand tobacco smoke as a cause of cancer; and no data existed to support EPA claims in this (tobacco) area.
As shown above, the EPA and its supporters are prone to LIE!!!
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The major costs of government regulations to the Appliance Industry in the early nineties were related to the elimination of Freon (R-11 and R-12), both from foam insulation and sealed refrigeration systems.
The best source of scientific and common sense data on the following report are two books published by Dr. Dixie Lee Ray, TRASHING THE PLANET and ENVIRONMENTAL OVERKILL. These works and many others were summarized and reported in a scientific and professional manner by the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BALANCE. (This group was chaired by Dr. I.W. Tucker, a retired professor from the University of Louisville.)
The excuse used by the EPA for the ban on Freon was it somehow seeps into the atmosphere and depletes the Ozone in our air. There is no scientific data available, in or out of government, to describe this "claimed" process. Freon is one of the most useful substances ever created by man; and it has many uses. In refrigeration, its prime usage is as the substance inside the sealed refrigeration systems that allows cooling to take place during the evaporator operation, and heating during the high temperature condensing part of the refrigeration cycles. Without Freon or some similar substance, refrigeration cannot occur, and the best known alternate would be to return to ice boxes.
Freon was developed and patented by the DuPont Company. Ironically, the DuPont patents on Freon ran out at about the same time the government decrees to ban the use of Freon were issued. The leading replacement substances for Freon were also developed by DuPont. The Freon (HCFC) substances are far more costly and far more complex, to the extent that DuPont stands to make untold billions of dollars on the change out of this substance, and consumers will have an inferior product. Further, the DuPont substitutes have no supporting data to prove they meet environmental needs.
Freon, the "villain", is an odorless, tasteless, chemically neutral substance, which is HEAVIER THAN AIR, and by the laws of physics cannot rise into the atmosphere. If is spilled on the ground, it will settle in the soil and become plant food. It meets the Biblical standard of "ashes to ashes and dust to dust." Freon can be commercially produced at a very low cost of $.50 to $1.00 per pound. Some recent news reports indicate that since the banning, it is now one of the leading items sold in the worlds black markets. Some reported costs of Freon on the black market run as high as $50.00 per pound.
With the expiration of the DuPont patents, Freon would have been readily available as an air conditioning and refrigeration substance for the entire world, including Third World Countries, at affordable rates. According to THE FACT FINDER, P.O. Box A, Scottsdale, AZ 85252, (1/16/95), DuPont owners have direct ties to the NEW AGE-ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT which, in turn has ties to the EPA and such luminaries as Vice President Al Gore. Gore has ties to THE NEW WORLD ORDER of George Bush and Bill Clinton. According to THE FACT FINDER, Charles Bronfman of Seagrams, who controls the Board of Directors of DuPont, led the fight against Freon, his own product, because the DuPont patents to control Freon had run out.
Our upper atmosphere does contain Ozone (O3) (a compound made up of three oxygen atoms) as claimed by government and new age people. The atmosphere also contains a large amount of natural oxygen (O2) (made up of two oxygen atoms) in its natural state. About twenty per cent of the air we breath is Natural Oxygen (O2). Ozone is formed in the atmosphere by a break up on natural oxygen molecules (O2). This break up occurs in the atmosphere when certain ultraviolet sun rays strike Oxygen molecules and split them in half. The split single Oxygen atoms (O1) are very unstable, and quickly attach themselves to other natural occurring Oxygen molecules (O2) with two Oxygen atoms to form Ozone (O3). At any given time, there are several tons of Ozone produced every second in the atmosphere five to twenty five miles above the earth. As long as there is natural Oxygen molecules (O2) and sun light, there will be Ozone (O3), a natural law of basic science.
Ozone, itself, is very unstable chemically. When formed, it quickly attaches itself to other substances in the air. The upper air contains a number of impurities such as chlorine monoxide, an unstable substance reported by several government agencies. These same government agencies claim this chloride substance is chemically derived from Freon and other similar man made substances.
However, as already reported by Dr. Ray and others, Freon cannot rise into the atmosphere because it is heavier than air by a minimum of a four-to-one ratio. Freon cannot defy the laws of physics or gravity. So, what is the source of atmospheric chlorine? Most of it comes form the natural evaporation of sea water which contains salt, a compound containing chlorides. The other major source of chlorides is from volcanic eruptions, which are not controlled by man. Dr. Ray’s data shows that the upper atmosphere at any given time contains 50 to 60 times as much chloride as is produced annually by all processes in use by man. Sea water evaporation alone produces 600 million tons of chlorides per year as compared to 750,000 tons per year of Freon type production. This alone is a ratio of 800 to 1. The sea water evaporation and volcanic eruptions have been going on since God created the earth.
Now we come to the much discussed "Ozone Hole" in the Antarctic (South Pole) area. Studies by a number of sources show that, each year, at the end of the dark, cold (-80F) Antarctic winter an Ozone Hole (thin area) appears, lasts for three to five weeks, and then disappears. Let us now recall that Ozone forms when sun light strikes Oxygen molecules. Very few rays from the sun reach the Antarctic during Antarctic winters. When there is no sun light, Ozone will not be formed in the upper air.
Unfortunately, the current Ozone Hole Theory is being pushed by an ignorant, arrogant group of ENVIRONMENTAL ELITISTS working daily to promote a socialist plan of PEOPLE CONTROL. They are supported by radical environmental groups with no interest in the welfare of American citizens and who are atheistic in their outlook. These ELITISTS draw support from the news media, tax free foundations, and many special interests.
New age leaders of industries such as DuPont fall in line, as long as they are protected by government decrees to cover their BOTTOM LINE PROFITS. As reported in INSIGHT MAGAZINE 1/30/95, "in spite of repeated claims of Ozone loss because of Freon (CFC) emissions, there is no sound evidence to support this assertion. The basic data seems to be contaminated."
MACHINE DESIGN MAGAZINE, 1/24/94, referred to the CFC ban as a world wide $5 trillion mistake. My experience over twenty seven years of refrigeration is that it is a $5 trillion fraud brought about by NEW AGE SOCIALISTS. The people who are to blame are very small in number. There are environmental extremists who prompt all of the expensive regulations that are faced by industry and the people at large. These extremists have powerful friends in high places in government, the news media, tax free foundations, industry and others.
GE Appliance Leadership did not have the knowledge or the courage to stand up to be counted in this, another $1 billion plus boondoggle for GE Refrigeration, in the early nineties. The Freon ban has increased appliance costs significantly, and adversely affected productivity and quality of refrigeration products."
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Take Back Kentucky has shown the EPA and its supporters to have a propensity to LIE to obtain their objectives. Therefore, it is recommended that the EPA and other regulatory agencies be abolished. Further, it is recommended that a SCIENCE ADVISORY AGENCY be established, reporting directly to Congress. According to our Constitution, it is the responsibility of Congress to make laws; not appointed bureaucrats. This new agency would guide Congress in performing scientific service to America by applying true science to scientific problems.
On the state level, we recommend that the Kentucky Legislature [and all state legislatures] firmly remind federal officials of the scope and power of the Tenth Amendment to our Federal Constitution.
And further, to pass [state laws] allowing the free use and/or manufacture of Freon (CFC) substances [throughout America].
W. Ed Parker is an environmental engineer, author of Manufacturing Meltdown in America, chairman of Taxpayers Party of Kentucky, and member of Take Back Kentucky lobbying group. For information on his book contact Solution Publishing at 800-689-4075 or write to Mr. Parker at 9800 Tiverton Way, Louisville, KY 40242.
[CDR Note: Establishing a U.S. Science Advisory Agency reporting directly to Congress would be akin to requesting a fox to guard the hen house. Scientists who value the flow of research grant funds above their love of truth will fall into line with the desired and required findings rather than lose their source of funding by being truthful. A few scientists today admit to this assertion.
Maybe the states -- when a situation arises for the need of true scientific data -- could simply call in a group of independent scientists who would not be tied to the government, industrial, or foundation grants.
Additionally, the Constitution (see Article 1, Section 8, clauses 1-18] does not empower the U.S. Congress to 'perform scientific service to America'. Thoughtful and careful consideration should be given to anything we ask of the already far too far-reaching arm of the federal government.]
On the state level, we recommend that the Kentucky Legislature [and all state legislatures] firmly remind federal officials of the scope and power of the Tenth Amendment to our Federal Constitution.
And further, to pass [state laws] allowing the free use and/or manufacture of Freon (CFC) substances [throughout America].
[See the Arizona Freon USE Act in States Rights section of ISSUES and related article Who Owns the Environmentalist Movement ]
W. Ed Parker is an environmental engineer, author of Manufacturing Meltdown in America, chairman of Taxpayers Party of Kentucky, and member of Take Back Kentucky lobbying group.
For information on his book contact Solution Publishing at 800-689-4075 or write to Mr. Parker at 9800 Tiverton Way, Louisville, KY 40242.
AC—Only For The Rich? Refrigerant used for cooling has come to be known by DuPont's trade name which is Freon.
The plan is to replace all air conditioning equipment twice—first to deal with the ozone depletion problem, and then to deal with the global warming situation. Both of these so called problems are theoretical—neither has been proven.
This article is about the first refrigerant replacement. The second refrigerant has yet to be formulated.
Old Freon vs. New Freon Old Freon New Freon Automotive AC R-12 R-134a Household AC R-22 R-410a
The Short Story With the old Freon, tiny refrigerant leaks were not a big problem. Each spring you could add 1-2 lbs of Freon, and the system would work fine for another season.
With the new Freon, the charge has to be exact. That means living with a minuscule Freon leak will be a thing of the past. Even the tiniest leak has to be fixed right away. This will often mean a huge repair expense running into the hundreds of dollars.
After January 1, 2010, it will be illegal to manufacture R-22 condensers, and you will no longer have access to economical R-22 equipment. Will there come a time when the title of this article, AC—ONLY FOR THE RICH? becomes a reality? We're moving in that direction.
The old Freon will still be available for over 20 years. For my property, I’m replacing my old R-22 condensers with new R-22 condensers—just before the January 2010 deadline.
The Long Story
Old Freon (R-22 or R-12) is homogeneous, and will always maintain its chemistry. It makes no difference whether it's charged as a liquid or as a gas. New Freon (R-134a or R-410a) is a blend which will leak out selectively and fractionate. It will also fractionate if charged as a gas. Fractionation leaves the remaining refrigerant with an off-chemistry composition.
An Unfolding Nightmare
On the basis of an unproven and controversial "Ozone Depletion Theory," America is leading an unparalleled re-engineering effort to replace traditional household refrigerants with new ones that are expensive, technologically backward, and possibly harmful to human health. Machine Design, in its January 24, 1994 issue, called it the $5 Trillion Mistake.
I decided to run the numbers. The population of the United States is about 300 million with an estimated 75 million households. Spread over the entire nation, $5 trillion works out to be $66,666.66 for a family of four.
But you object: the $5 trillion estimate is on a world-wide basis. Okay, let's be doubly generous. Let's assume only half of that $5 trillion is for the United States. Now we're only looking at a cost of $33,333.33 for an American family of four. The economy has seen considerable inflation since the 1994 estimate, but we'll overlook that.
Why So Expensive?
Every piece of AC and refrigeration equipment will have to be replaced twice—first to deal with the threat to the ozone layer, and later to deal with the global warming issue. It's creating confusion in the installation, service, and repair industry. Repairmen must choose between different types of equipment, refrigerant jugs, recovery machines, storage tanks, gages, and pressure/temperature specifications. The danger of contamination is enormous, and the cost of correcting the contamination must be factored in.
Refrigerant costs continue to skyrocket. It started out as Freon, and the price kept going up. (That was meant to be a joke, but when you're paying the bill, it's not funny.) Unlike traditional refrigerants, both R-134a (automotive) and R-410a (household) refrigerants must be charged and maintained with precision. Even small refrigerant leaks have to be fixed. The good old days of "living with the leak," and adding a little Freon each spring will be gone. An automobile may hold only 28 ounces of R-134a Freon. Conventional practice has been to charge by pressure, but that no longer works. If there's any doubt about the charge, all the refrigerant must be removed, and then replaced. New refrigerant must be installed by weight.
For an R-134a automotive system, the refrigerant will not cost that much. But as I will show below, in my personal illustration, the repair costs can be enormous. The new refrigerants are not homogeneous, but a blend. When a leak develops, it will leak out selectively, and change the composition. When that happens there will be no choice but to remove and replace the entire charge. For R-410a, a typical system can hold 15 lb. At $20/lb, that comes to $300 to refill the system. The price could go even higher. Charging the New Freon AC technicians usually add Freon as a liquid, but balance the charge by adding it as a gas.
With the new blended refrigerants R-134a and R-410a, the technician must always add the refrigerant as a liquid. If he forgets, and adds it as a gas, fractionation will occur, and the chemistry will change.
The refrigerant in the AC system will be off-chemistry, and the refrigerant, that remains in the tank, will be off as well. The off-chemistry refrigerant that remains in the tank will eventually be charged into system after system after system. And the technician won't know he is installing off-chemistry refrigerant.
To suddenly require technicians to work with a new refrigerant that must always be added as a liquid is a major assignment. And to expect them to use both pure and blended refrigerants on a rotational basis is impossible.
A Personal R-134a Illustration
I have a Lincoln LS which is a sports car designed for mature (older) men. The car is 8 years old, and leaking R-134a refrigerant. Not long ago, a black light test revealed leaks at a compressor bearing, so I had the compressor replaced. The cost was $1050.
Since then, I continue to lose refrigerant. We have not yet found additional leaks, but I'm afraid we will have to replace the evaporator coil. If that becomes necessary, a mechanic will take the dash apart. The job will cost another thousand bucks!
Let me repeat what I said earlier: Back in the good "Old Freon" days, we could just add a little Freon each spring, and carry on for another year. We are now required to maintain a perfectly leak-free system, and that will cost everyone big bucks.
Theory Vs. Reality
My talk about fractionation and off-chemistry refrigerant could turn out to be more theoretical than practical. In actual use, the refrigerant composition might remain within working limits. In other words, the new blended refrigerants may work.
But, let's go back to 1992 when the "Clean Air" Act became law. It all started with an unproved theory. The ozone layer was in danger, and evidence was offered to prove it.
They went to the North Pole during the winter to gather evidence. Since the sun produces ozone, and there is little sunshine, it was no surprise that they found a hole.
The "ozone hole" was supposed to allow harmful UV to endanger animate life. But, someone has yet to produce a fried polar bear.
Hey! We can talk about theory until doomsday, but reality is this: There's really nothing wrong with the old Freon.
Conversion to R-410a
Forced conversion from R-22 to R-410a, for residential air conditioners, will start in 2010. For now you have a choice. If things go according to plan, it will be 20-30 years before all existing R-22 systems have been retired.
It May not Work!
How were they to know that asbestos and lead-based paint would lead to health problems? Abatement expense for these two materials will continue for decades.
Our highly industrialized, consumer driven way of life is entirely dependent on air conditioning and refrigeration. At stake is nothing less than our economy, and a major economic threat is from the refrigerant conversion process that is now in progress.
Our economy is not that strong, and this may be the 2x4 that breaks the camel's back.
By government edict, they are trying to solve a non-existent problem, based on an unproven theory. They are using experimental refrigerants which are costly, and will make repairs more expensive. The "answer" to this non-existent problem may be harmful to human health; it may not work; and it could bankrupt the nation.
What can you, the homeowner, do to protect yourself?
First, you can put pressure on your representatives to reverse this hideous legislation.
In the meantime, I recommend that you invest in quality R-22 equipment. As the 2010 deadline approaches, take every precaution to prepare for the future. Commit to the old R-22 Freon for as long as possible.
Some manufacturers offer a ten year compressor warranty. Even after 2010 you can replace a compressor under warranty. That allows you to stick with R-22 Freon.
After the warranty expires, you can always pay for a compressor replacement. That allows you to continue to stick with your R-22 system. Don't buy into a system that uses R-410a unless you absolutely have to.
What about the refrigerant itself? How long will R-22 refrigerant be available? In 1992, they began the automotive refrigerant conversion, but the old R-12 is still available. It's being taxed heavily, so the price is really high, but it's still on the market.
Surely within 20 years, the situation will resolve—one way or another. Either my warnings will prove to be unfounded, or the whole blended refrigerant endeavor will collapse under its own weight.
Yours for Continued Koolness,
References: The Ozone Layer Crisis—Fact or Folly? Freon Leaks & Evaporator Coils
The Ozone Layer Crisis—Fact or Folly?
The "Ozone Depletion Theory," claims that refrigerant from everyday air conditioning and refrigeration appliances is destroying the ozone layer. Without the protective ozone layer, harmful radiation from the sun would no longer be filtered out, and life on earth would be endangered.
I see this as another Chicken Little scenario: "The sky is falling!"—that was Chicken Little's warning. The real danger is not to the ozone layer, but to Western Civilization as we know it. By finding environmental "crises," radicals are more and more gaining control over industries that are vital to our consumer-driven way of life.
I was born in 1939. Our home in Kentucky was without indoor plumbing, electricity, etc. (For the entire story, see About Dr.Kool.) Obviously we didn't have a refrigerator, an air conditioner, a radio, or even an electric fan to circulate air. Finally in 1948 we got electricity. I have no desire to return to those "natural" days, but that is exactly where environmentalists are leading us. (If you want to live in "The Natural State," move to Arkansas.)
At this time, their focus is on the ozone layer. But make no mistake about it, this is just the beginning. After that, they will spotlight "Global Warming." They will continue until America is "safely" returned to the 19th century.
Government edict initiated the forced conversion from time-tested, proven refrigerants to expensive new experimental ones. Environmentalists and capitalists make strange bedfellows, but the "Ozone Depletion Theory" made it happen. It looks like the new opportunity for a profit was too much for traditional conservatives to resist. They quickly surrendered to the "inevitable."
The First Primrose Path
Starting July 1, 1992, the "Clean Air Act" made it illegal to vent household refrigerants into the atmosphere. Thus began an unparalleled re-engineering effort that is called "The $5 Trillion Mistake," by "Machine Design" in its January 24, 1994 issue. Let me quote from the article by Rogelio A Maduro and Bob Holzknecht:
Driving this "devolution" of modern production methods is the theory that CFCs and other man-made chlorinated compounds deplete the ozone layer. But there is no consensus among the scientific community on this theory. And while the public has been bombarded with tales of potential devastation from ozone depletion, little has been said about the consequences the CFC ban will have on humans and society. Some estimate the worldwide ban will cost consumers and governments $5 trillion. Refrigerants and Equipment
For decades, three refrigerants R-12, R-22, and R-502 have performed flawlessly for cooling and refrigeration. Refrigerant leaks have never caused an inhalation problem for people or animals—Freon is harmless. Let me quote again from the above article:
This is the most radical and far-reaching change that has ever occurred in the industrial processes used in manufacturing, transportation, and refrigeration. And it is a change being driven not by the discovery of new improved technologies, but by government edict, whereby more expensive, technologically backward, and inefficient alternatives are being forced on manufacturers and consumers under the guise of saving the ozone layer. Since 1983, I have served as an air conditioning contractor and serviceman. I'd like to report my experience since the "Clean Air Act" became law.
Recovery of Used R-22 Freon
From the beginning, accepted practice was to vent unwanted Freon into the atmosphere. I personally believe the environmental impact is about as significant as another quart of water going over Niagara Falls. Since July 1, 1992, I carry a recovery machine on my service vehicle, and dutifully pump the refrigerant into a tank. At first, recyclers would pay for the used refrigerant. Now I pay them $50 for every 40 lbs I turn in. And, of necessity, I pass the cost on to my customer.
Balancing the Refrigerant Charge
A spring check-up requires a Freon check. If a valve core leaks, I have a special tool that allows me to replace it without losing Freon. I then add Freon to restore what was lost. What if I overshoot, and need to remove a little? I can't release it into the atmosphere, and I can't pump it back into the tank. I can do one of two things: leave the air conditioner in an overcharged condition—I'll bet some guys do that—or I can break out my recovery tank, and remove the excess.
Confusion by Design
AC and refrigeration technicians, who used to carry no more than three different refrigerants on their service vehicles, are now faced with a myriad of new and confusing options: several types of refrigerants, more than one recovery unit, and matching recovery tanks. Oh! And let's not forget different sets of gauges, that require different pressure/temperature specifications. The chances for error are enormous.
One technician transferred 18 lbs of Freon from a failed compressor to a recovery tank. Then after installing a new piece of commercial AC equipment, he transferred the used (contaminated) Freon into the new unit.
So what was he thinking? He wasn't.
I hear stories of technicians who accidently add R-22 refrigerant to a R-410a system. The entire mix must be removed, the system evacuated, and then re-charged.
Incompatibility of Compressor Oils Oil used in R-410a compressors is different from the mineral oil used in R-22 systems. When converting from R-22 to R-410a, the technician is supposed to flush the old lubricant from the copper tubing, or replace the tubing entirely. What if he doesn't?
Traditional refrigerants such as R-12, R-22, and R-502 are homogeneous, and can be added as a gas or a liquid. Technicians who are accustomed to refrigerant uniformity, are now asked to deal with blended refrigerants.
Both R-134a and R-410a are blends that must be added as a liquid. This requires that the refrigerant tank be turned upside down. If the technician fails to do that—if he tries to add either of these new refrigerants as a gas—the result will be fractionation. The two components will separate, and the composition will change.
The same principle applies when a refrigerant leak develops. It will leak out selectively, and change the composition of the refrigerant that remains in the system. Let's say a valve core leaks refrigerant, and has to be replaced. With R-22 it was a simple matter of topping off the charge to restore what was lost. That becomes risky when dealing with a blend—it depends on how much was lost.
With R-12 or R-22, the technician could rely on the composition of the charge. With R-134a and R-410a there will be times when he will replace the entire charge because he is uncertain of the composition.
At What Cost?
In 1983 my customer paid me $4/lb for R-22 refrigerant. Soon it will cost him $30/lb for R-410a refrigerant. Besides that, an entire recovery industry has been spawned. A machine removes the old refrigerant, and the stuff is stored in a special recovery tank. Finally the refrigerant has to be returned to a recycle facility, but that's not all. Eventually every piece of existing equipment will have to be replaced. Big Bucks!
Follow the Money
The best I can tell, the manufacturers of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment are happy with the new regulations. Ditto for the manufacturers of the new refrigerants, the manufacturers of recovery equipment, recovery tanks, etc. It's good for business.
Environmental Extremists and Political Ideologues The Greek philosophers loved to debate such esoteric topics as "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Today the question is "How many CFC molecules can attach themselves to an ozone molecule?" … or some such foolishness.
Theory vs. Truth
Einstein's Theory of Relativity was proved when it actually worked, for example, The Manhattan Project and the nuclear power plant. But some theories can neither be proved nor disproved. Such theories remain nothing more than theories. But in the meantime pseudo-scientists and zealous professors debate and teach as if the theory were fact.
At The Expense of the Consumer
While the "scientist" debates and the professor teaches the "Ozone Depletion Theory"—while refrigerant manufacturers rake in the cash from new, expensive refrigerants—while the manufacturers profit from the sale of new equipment—the consumer pays the bill.
The Most "Hostile" Refrigerant
In 1992, R-12 was said to be 20 times more hostile to the environment than R-22. So the initial effort was to replace R-12 with R-134a. But even R-134a is an interim refrigerant because it is said to contribute to "Global Warming." Mama Mia!
Conversion from R-12 to R-134a is pretty much complete. It has affected mostly the automotive and refrigeration industry. An automobile might require 2-3 lbs of R-12, but there are losses due to leakage. A refrigerator might require 16 ounces of R-12 Freon. It seldom leaks, but it might be replaced once in its 30 year lifetime due to a compressor change out. Big deal!
The forced refrigerant conversion has caused a severe impact on low income people. Poor people drive with their windows down, and a new refrigerator is not cheap. To dispose of a worn-out refrigerator or freezer, one must first pay to have 1+ lbs of refrigerant removed by a professional. Disposal costs can easily run $90.
The Least "Hostile" Refrigerant
It has been years since the 1992 "Clean Air Act," but they no longer talk about R-22 being only 5% as "hostile" as R-12. The "clean air" guys have turned their full attention to household air conditioning which uses R-22 refrigerant.
Conversion from R-22 to R-410a is just getting started. This will affect the environmental market. It's possible, poor people who now have central air conditioning will soon use strategically placed room units--it will be all they can afford. If one is really poor he can always use a fan.
At the Expense of Common Sense
The whole idea is to replace refrigerants which are said to be hostile to the environment with refrigerants that are environmentally friendly. R-410a is said to be a friendly refrigerant. One manufacturer uses R-410a and calls it Puron.
Situation: You made a deal with your contractor for a new AC system that uses R-410a refrigerant (retails for $30/lb). After seven years, there's a compressor burn out, which means that both the compressor and the refrigerant must be replaced. Since R-410a is environmentally friendly, it's okay to vent it to the atmosphere. WRONG! Your contractor must remove the refrigerant using a recovery machine, and you will pay to have that done.
So why not vent an environmentally friendly refrigerant? In contrast to traditional refrigerants, substitute refrigerants are a possible danger to humans, particularly to service personnel, who are exposed to the vapors on a daily basis. Also release of R-410a might contribute to "Global Warming."
An Expensive Farce
The truth is this: Millions of AC and refrigeration systems develop leaks, and like the proverbial "finger-in-the-dike," it's impossible to prevent refrigerant losses. Mega-tons of Freon are lost by leakage from cooling coils. You might want to read Freon Leaks & Evaporator Coils, by yours truly.
The typical air conditioning company installs, into AC and refrigeration systems, hundreds of lbs. of refrigerant each year. I have no statistics on refrigerant recovery, but I estimate about 30%. My estimated 70% loss (due to leakage) is not going to change. And what are we to conclude? The entire refrigerant recovery effort is meaningless—an expensive farce.
Government Mandated Efficiencies
Energy efficiency is measured by the SEER rating. If you replace an old 7 SEER AC with a new 14 SEER one, your new energy cost will be 7/14 or 50% of your old energy cost.
I believe in high efficiency equipment, but I also believe in freedom—freedom that is being taken away under the pretense of saving the ozone layer.
Ever escalating SEER rating mandates will hasten the switch to R-410a refrigerant. Already the higher SEER rating equipment is only available using R-410a refrigerant.
Beginning January 2006, it was unlawful to manufacture air conditioning equipment with less than a 13 SEER rating. The major impact is being felt in the rental market that uses 2 ton split systems. The 13 SEER condenser costs considerably more. Often, it doesn't interface with the existing evaporator coil. The extra cost, of necessity, will be passed on to the renter.
Government Mandated R-410a Conversion
By 2010, the landlord will face another problem: He will not be able to buy AC equipment that uses R-22.
Situation: The compressor on a 25 year old condenser just quit. The landlord used to replace the entire condenser. A 7 SEER condenser would be replaced with a new 10 SEER one. The landlord would get a new piece of equipment, and the tenant would get a 30% energy saving.
Government regulations may lead the landlord to keep his old condenser, and just replace the compressor. People who have never considered installing used equipment will do so for economic reasons.
Let me tell what Dr. Kool has done for his own AC system. January 2006, I installed a brand new 14 SEER R-22 system, and I plan on keeping it until the Lord comes.
Is There Hope?
It looks like there's no turning back, but appearances can be deceiving. Who ever dreamed Soviet Communism would cease to threaten the free world? But it happened. There are people who believe the IRS can be abolished, and replaced with what they call "The Fair Tax." That, too, might happen.
The world is mostly populated by poor people who cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, afford air conditioning. Americans are relatively rich, but the day may come when even we cannot afford the higher cost of R-410a AC systems. Hopefully, if that day comes, there will still be enough money left to return to technologically superior R-22 cooling.
Summary and Conclusion
America has already converted from R-12 to R-134a. If present plans succeed, and R-22 AC systems are completely converted to R-410a, there will be a second primrose path. Second generation conversion plans will then emerge to deal with the threat of "Global Warming"—that is my prediction!
As I said earlier, they will continue until we are "safely" returned to the 19th century. Probably, it will be legal to own and operate a bicycle, as long as you don't try to couple it with an internal combustion engine.
So where is this stuff coming from? The environmentalists include people in high places. The "Clean Air Act" was passed during the watch of President George H.W. Bush.
In his book, Earth in the Balance… Vice President Al Gore calls the internal combustion engine the greatest threat to mankind. He has also written a book on global warming.