Air conditioners could become more sustainable thanks to novel refrigerant

Last year, Americans used a mind-boggling 377 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to stay cool. In layman’s terms, that’s about 9 percent of the nation’s total electricity use, spent primarily on air conditioners.

Enter Bluon, a startup that makes a new refrigerant for air conditioners, aiming at increasing operational efficiencies of conventional AC equipment with a focus on minimizing electricity consumption, along with reducing their carbon footprint. Utilizing the new refrigerant—called TdX 20—in place of old refrigerants in an HVAC system in a 100,000-square-foot office building can save enough electricity to eliminate 120 metric tons of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent energy savings of converting 40 gas-powered cars to Teslas.

The new technology is also touted to be the best alternative for old refrigerants that the EPA has set to phase out in 2020, due to their considerable damaging effects on the planet’s ozone layer. Bluon hopes that, as the supply of such old refrigerants dwindles, building owners who need replacement refrigerant in old systems will turn to its product and save energy in the process.

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