BC Comfort Insights Newsletter
May 2018

In this month's newsletter, we share some important insights regarding refrigerants and the phase out of HFCs, along with some common reasons for HVAC system breakdowns, and an update on our climate smart carbon emissions reduction achievements.
'Hot n Cold' - Flammability and New Refrigerants

It’s almost June, and after a long and rainy winter, summer has finally arrived in Vancouver!  It’s time to take out the BBQ and refill the propane tank.  In the near future, it’s quite likely that not only will your BBQ tank be filled with propane, but also the refrigerant lines in your air conditioning system. 

Why the drastic change?
Refrigerant is the substance used in your air conditioning equipment.  In the refrigeration cycle it changes phase from liquid to gas.  Refrigerant is present in many components of HVAC equipment, from Roof Top Units to Chillers to Condensing units. 

Historically, refrigerant has been composed of ozone depleting chemicals called Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).  Popular industry examples include R22 and R410A.  The problem is that these chemicals have high Global Warming Potential (GWP).  For example, R410A has a GWP that is 1700 times carbon dioxide. 
The recently signed Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in October 2016 has started the global phase-out of HFCs.  Beginning Jan 1, 2024, chillers will need to stop using HFCs.  As a result, manufacturers are starting to explore new options for refrigerant with lower GWP.
The current generation of refrigerants in commercial buildings is currently non-flammable or Class 1.  The exception is ammonia used in ice arenas.  Hydrocarbons, such as Propane, are being considered for the next generation of refrigerants.  

The main strategy to control the danger of flammable refrigerants is to limit the size of the charge (i.e. amount in the system).  However, this will require a redesign of many types of air conditioning equipment including popular VRF systems. 
A recent ASHRAE article concludes, “The HVAC&R industry is actively investigating the safety of flammable refrigerants. The industry is determining the risks of flammable refrigerants by understanding the probability of potential occurrences and severity of events in various application situations, including servicing and handling.”

For more information on these refrigerants and how to prepare for upcoming industry changes, please contact BC Comfort.

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200 Million Tonnes of Opportunity:

BC Comfort saves over $57,000 and reduces fuel usage by 25%.

Since 2012, BC Comfort has been working with Climate Smart to implement a range of strategies to reduce carbon emissions.In 2018, we completed our fifth greenhouse gas inventory with Climate Smart.

To date, we've have reduced fuel consumption per km traveled by 25%, paper use by 43%, and achieved operational savings of over $57,000 annually.

Our extensive list of emission reduction strategies includes ongoing fleet replacement with smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, heating system upgrades, paperless document management, work on diverting air filters from the landfill, and more. 
Recently, Climate Smart and Environment and Climate Change Canada released a new initiative called 200 Million Tonnes of Opportunity to highlight the work of leaders in 12 sectors across Canada that have profitably reduced their emissions.
BC Comfort is pleased to be recognised as a Clean Growth Leader as part of the 200 Million Tonnes of Opportunity Initiative. 


Industry Insights 

Canada puts the HFC phase-down plan into force.
The government of Canada on April 16 launched an HFC phase-down plan to limit HFC consumption by 85% by 2036, in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Mirroring the Amendment, the plan starts in 2019 with a 10% cut to “baseline” levels of HFC consumption, which are calculated using the
consumption of HFCs and HCFCs from 2011 to 2013.
Click here to read more
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Building a Sustainable Future
For several years, we've committed to making business improvements to reduce our environmental impact and meet our sustainability goals. 

BC Comfort is actively working with Climate Smart to reduce carbon emissions. 
BC Comfort's website is also powered by green energy. 

Our web host purchases wind energy credits to offset the energy they consume from the grid. 
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We encourage you to provide feedback on related topics, articles, or advice you’d like us to write about. You can send us a note by clicking here

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BC Comfort Air Conditioning Limited

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Burnaby, BC V5J 5A8



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