Refrigerant leak creates environmental problems for businesses

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Courtesy of Verisae

A great concern for companies is a refrigerant leak in their refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) system or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. That’s because gases that escape during a refrigerant leak pollute and damage the environment. To better monitor and maintain the operation of these business assets, many companies utilize a refrigerant management program.

There are many reasons why a refrigerant leak could occur in a refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) system or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It could be a weakened valve, rust in filter dryers or heat pump accumulator, tiny holes on capillary tubing due to friction, a damaged line set that carries refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator coil, or a failure of the flare connection.

With a refrigerant leak, thousands of pounds of gases go into the air. These gases have ozone depleting substances like hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These gases have been proven to have harmful effects on the environment and carry a high potential for global warming.

It’s not easy to find a refrigerant leak, mainly because of the complexity of refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The refrigerant leak could be hiding in tubing that stretches hundreds of feet or in an inconspicuous area. A pressure switch or other operating or safety control could also be the cause of a refrigerant leak. To detect a refrigerant leak, many facilities rely on refrigerant management systems. With these systems, monitoring of the equipment is continuous. When a refrigerant leak occurs, detection is fast and exact and the area is pinpointed on a monitor display.

Regulations for repairing a refrigerant leak or disposing of systems were established in the United States by the EPA and internationally by the Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Protocol. Under the extensive regulations, facility managers must provide comprehensive reporting records. The requirements are complex, so building managers generally rely on refrigerant management programs, such as those offered by Verisae, Inc.

Verisae provides a Refrigerant Tracker that ensures a company stays in compliance with government environmental requirements. The Refrigerant Tracker manages refrigerant usage, provides reports on a refrigerant leak, and provides the required information for submitting reports by the specified deadline.

Building and facility managers, as well as compliance officers, find refrigerant management programs valuable because they help to track a refrigerant leak. With a refrigerant leak comes the release of fluorinated greenhouses gases, which harm the environment. These leaks and their repair must be reported, which is where refrigerant management programs come into play.

For example, Verisae has developed a refrigerant management program that provides accurate information so the leak can be fixed and reported. The software is much more accurate than performing the process manually via a notebook and a pencil.

Identifying and reporting a refrigerant leak is just one of the many benefits provided by a web-based, refrigerant management application. Another benefit provided by this type of software enables multiple refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to be managed by one person. This allow for companies to work smarter when managing their facilities and the assets they contain.

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