Many refrigerants damage our environment
Did you know that the refrigerants contained in air-conditioners and refrigerators can be extremely harmful to the environment? Many refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) damage the ozone layer, while others are extremely potent greenhouse gases.
In fact, one kilogram of the refrigerant R410a has the same greenhouse impact as two tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of running your car for six months.
That's why Australia has specific laws that prohibit the importation of gases like CFCs and regulates the importation of synthetic greenhouse gases.
Refrigerants leak into the atmosphere from faulty or poorly maintained equipment, or when equipment is improperly disposed of.
Only use licensed technicians: A technician who holds a Refrigerant Handling Licence has the training and skills to minimise the emission of these refrigerants to the atmosphere.
It is an offence for anyone else to handle fluorocarbon refrigerants.
Use the ARC authorised business search to find authorised businesses in your area.
Australia's energy consumption
The MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) levels are mandatory requirements for certain products (including air conditioners, refrigerators & freezers) manufactured in, or imported into, Australia and are specified in the relevant Australian Standards. Everyone has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Choosing an energy efficient appliance is one way to do this while also saving money.
Choose an energy efficient appliance. Look for the energy rating label, the more stars it has, the more efficient the product is.
The less energy it uses, the less it costs you to run and the less damage it does to the environment.
- Compare appliances to find the most efficient for your needs.
The Australian Government will phase down bulk hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) imports from 2018 in line with a global agreement reached as part of the Montreal Protocol.
HFCs are a type of synthetic greenhouse gas mostly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment to replace ozone depleting substances that have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol. While HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer, they are powerful greenhouse gases that survive in the atmosphere for many years.
More information is available on: HFC phase-down – Frequently asked questions.
The science & background
- Ozone is a naturally occurring gas, found mostly in a layer of the stratosphere 15-30 km above the surface of the earth.
- Ozone depleting substances (ODS) are used in many industries. If emitted these substances break down the ozone layer in the stratosphere.
- Synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) are most commonly used as replacements for some ozone depleting substances. They do not deplete the ozone layer but contribute to global warming. Most are far more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.
- The Antarctic ozone hole is a dramatic thinning of ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica each spring.