EPA tackles emissions from refrigerators, air conditioners

EPA tackles emissions from refrigerators, air conditioners
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to cut down on emissions from refrigerators.

The EPA announced recently it is approving the use of new “climate-friendly” refrigerants that could replace those already in use in refrigerators and air conditioners.

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This comes as part of the Obama administration’s climate action plan. The new rule will affect household refrigerators and freezers, restaurant refrigerators, and room air conditioners, the EPA noted.

“Today’s rule is an example of how we can turn the challenge on climate change into an opportunity to innovate our way to a better future,” EPA administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Former EPA chiefs say Trump has abandoned agency's mission | Trump in Iowa touts ethanol and knocks Biden | Greens sue Trump over drilling safety rollbacks | FDA downplays worries over 'forever chemicals' Overnight Energy: Former EPA chiefs say Trump has abandoned agency's mission | Trump in Iowa touts ethanol and knocks Biden | Greens sue Trump over drilling safety rollbacks | FDA downplays worries over 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan former EPA chiefs say Trump administration has abandoned agency's mission MORE said.

The new rule is intended to better protect public health and the environment.

The EPA is approving several new climate-friendly refrigerants as substitute chemicals under the agency’s significant new alternatives policy program, because they “offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer."

These new refrigerants have “low global warming potential” the EPA says, and it hopes they will replace many of the older ozone-depleting substances currently in use.

According to the EPA, the older refrigerants have global warming potentials of 1,400 to 4,000 — but the new refrigerants could cut that number to between 3 and 675 GWPs, greatly reducing emissions.

The climate-friendly refrigerants include ethane, isobutane, propane, hydrocarbon blend R-441A, difluoromethane.