World leaders step up to tackle climate change – how your appliances can help

June 11th, 2013

Appliance Talk Environment, Energy & Water Saving

News recently broke that US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to do something about the greenhouse gas production of their respective countries.  Specifically, they’ll be winding back the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Obama Xi JinpingImage source: ABC

“Waitaminute,” I hear you say, “why am I reading this on the Appliances Online blog?  How is international politics relevant here?  Where are the blogs about funny toasters and the latest exploits of Hurra Torpedo?”

Well, while HFCs are understood to only make up 2% of harmful greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere by humans, they are predominantly used in the manufacturing and running of refrigerators and air conditioners – two subjects very close to the heart of Appliances Online.

greenhouse gases

It is understood that up to 100 other countries have pledged to seek substitutes to HFCs, and the new agreement between China and the US is expected to put pressure on other countries such as India and Brazil to follow suit.

HFCs are entirely manmade, and are not found in nature.  It is understood that the popularity of HFCs grew following legislation against ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – while HFCs don’t affect the ozone layer like CFCs, they do make a greater contribution to climate change, which is why they have been falling out of favour in recent years.

Even though most of us aren’t world leaders with influence over the greater manufacturing industries, there are still ways we can reduce our consumption of HFCs and make small small steps to shrink humanity’s environmental footprint.

When you’re looking for a new refrigerator or air conditioner from Appliances Online, try to find one that uses an environmentally-friendly refrigerant that’s CFC and HFC free.

The 420L Electrolux Fridge ETM4200SCRH, using R600A refrigerant gas

The refrigerant R600A (aka isobutane) is used in many products from the Electrolux family (including Westinghouse and Kelvinator), as demonstrated when our team toured their factory in April 2012.

Chinese brand Haier has also been adding the R600A refrigerant to its range of chest freezers.

When it comes to air conditioners, selected models (such as DeLonghi portable air conditioners) use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R290A, also known as isopropane – a mix of isobutane and propane.

propane hank hill

So not only would making the switch to HFC-free refrigerants allow you to help the planet as well as the world’s leaders, you’d also earn Hank Hill’s approval.  Sounds fair enough to me…

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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