The State of Refrigerants in Commercial Chillers

Snail mail. Rolodexes. Boomboxes. We’ve given up the familiarity of the past for the promise of the future. But is the same happening in the chiller industry? Is the push for lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants changing the industry as we know it? In some ways, yes. But, in the United States in particular, the change may be more gradual than it appears at first glance.

As the industry has moved away from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – with their ozone-damaging chlorine molecules – something has had to take their place. Since then, the three major players have been hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), natural refrigerants, and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). Each comes with its own unique set of pros and cons. 

So what’s next? With three contenders in the ring, is there a clear-cut winner? Let’s take a look.

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