By Jan. 1, 2010, all Dometic RV air conditioners and heat pump models will use a new refrigerant called 410A, which does not affect the ozone or contribute to global warming, according to Brad Sargent, vice president of marketing.
The current refrigerant, R22, is being phased out by U.S. government law requiring its elimination and the use of “green” gases in such products beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
All DuoTherm, Brisk Air and Penguin brands will be affected. The new products using 410A will be identifiable by a green leaf label affixed to the shroud.
“In going to this new refrigerant we had to redesign our whole refrigerant system, all the way from new compressors, evaporator and condenser coils to the manufacturing process, in order to accommodate the transition to this eco-friendly refrigerant,” said Sargent. “We did a great deal of lab testing on each of our models to optimize performance before launching a significant field test late 2008. We’ve done our homework.”
“One thing that’s important for people to know,” he said, “is that the new law affects only new production of HVAC products beginning Jan. 1, 2010. If a dealer or OEM has inventory of R22 air conditioners or heat pump air conditioners, or RVs with R22 HVAC products built before the Jan. 1, 2010, deadline, the law allows the market to sell out of the R22 product without any penalties. For those who have existing inventory, it’s fine to go ahead and sell them after the deadline.”
Consumers needing warranty or service work on a R22 unit after the government mandated date will also see some changes. The cost of R22 will escalate until it is no longer economically feasible to repair the unit, so if a warrantied product loses its refrigerant charge, Dometic will replace the R22 system with the new 410A system.
Because the 410A refrigerant is characteristically less efficient than R22, each Dometic model went from low-pressure to a high-pressure system, which required design changes to rebalance the internal components in order to reach the proper comfort performance levels for each model.
“The new re-designed units will be more expensive due to a number of factors, including more costly compressors that are designed for the new refrigerant as well as new high-pressure tubing,” Sargent explained. “We are still evaluating the overall cost impact of these design changes. We’ve done the proper investment and testing to ensure wex’ll still be providing the high-quality product we’ve been known to provide, right out of the gate.”
Besides using a green refrigerant mandated by law, Dometic has done other things on its own during the re-design process to further extend the environmentally friendly nature of its products. Engineering teams evaluated the energy it takes to make the product and worked to reduce that as much as possible, in addition to using recyclable materials, in an effort to reduce the companyx2019;s carbon footprint.
Prior to this project, Dometic has taken on several initiatives to be more earth-conscious, such as using an eco-friendly blowing agent in its foam insulation in all absorption refrigerators with zero Global Warming Potential (GWP), recycling scrap aluminum and metal, prioritizing environmental programs and optimizing products for low-energy consumption.
For more information, contact Dometic at 574-294-2511 or visithttp://www.dometicusa.com/