Leaking refrigerant can affect the performance of any refrigeration system, as well as the cost and frequency of service and maintenance. But more than that, it can affect the environment: many older refrigerants contain chlorine that can deplete the ozone layer. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) have a high global warming potential (GWP) and HCFCs are being phased out for that reason.
Today, non-ozone-depleting alternatives are available, such as carbon dioxide, which is used in Heatcraft Refrigeration's CO2 unit cooler line. The refrigerant is not only safer for the environment, but it also costs less than traditional refrigerants.
Another way to reduce leaks is to select systems that build coils with inherent corrosion resistance such as the HyperCore™ microchannel coil technology in 1/2 to 6HP air-cooled condensing units. The coils require only one braze operation, versus 50 to 100 manual braze operations for RTPF coils, which also reduces the likelihood of refrigerant leaks.
What else can you do?
Preventive maintenance is vital to reducing the risk of refrigerant leaks due to the vibration of all refrigeration systems. Contractors should perform routine checks for leaks, and tighten lines and caps that can loosen over time. A preventive maintenance checklist is available on HeatcraftRPD.com.
Heatcraft Refrigeration also offers an extensive list of training opportunities, both online and in classrooms across the U.S. To learn more or to find a class near you, check the Training section of our website.