Posted on June 19th, 2013
The United States was one of 22 leading industrial nations to sign the landmark 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Thanks to the Montreal treaty, ever since 1992 it has been illegal to vent harmful refrigerant gases into the atmosphere during repair, service or disposal of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. All technicians employed by air conditioning and refrigeration service companies must be EPA certified with EPA-approved training to recover and recycle refrigerant gases. We also are mandated to keep track of the amount of refrigerant gases used.
We are proud to say that Western Heating & Air Conditioning not only complies with this law, but heartily embraces it as part of our business culture. Of course we are in business to make money; but it takes more than money to live a satisfying life.
When you call us to service your air conditioning, you can be confident you’ll be visited by a technician with the knowledge, certification and commitment to protect our environment. All of our technicians are EPA certified. They are trained to extract refrigerants from your system to an airtight container. When doing this, the technician has one of two options:
- Recycle the captured refrigerant gas into your system after passing it through special “cleansing” equipment. This gets done right at the job site.
- Alternatively, the technician may decide to put new refrigerant in the system and send the recovered gas to a reclamation center for reprocessing. This decision is based on safety and environmental considerations, the purity of the recovered refrigerant and time involved at the job site
Our company spends thousands of dollars supplying our technicians with the specialized equipment needed to recover and recycle used refrigerants. For replacement we use the most environmentally-friendly refrigerant gases available today.
In the bad old days if an air conditioning system got low on refrigerant a technician merely vented the old refrigerant to the atmosphere, added some more and that was the end of it. This certainly saves time and expense. I wish I could tell you nobody does this anymore, but we know better. It may be one reason why certain companies are able to charge rock-bottom prices.
The EPA can levy fines running into tens of thousands of dollars for violations; however, just as our society does not have the resources to put a cop on every street corner, there cannot be an EPA inspector at every job site. The only way violators are likely to be caught is if someone reports them to the local EPA office.
So the question that you as a home or small business owner needs to ask is whether you wish to do business with a law-abiding company or those that jeopardize the environment just to save a few dollars. Please recognize that leaking refrigerant is one of the most common causes of poorly performing air conditioning systems. The potential exists for hundreds of violations to occur each day in our local communities. And that can lead to some really bad “air” days.
People often talk of the need for corporate responsibility. As a part of this community, we take corporate responsibility seriously. There is also consumer responsibility. To do the right thing as a consumer, do business with companies that do the right thing. EPA certified companies like ours.