"How Bad Is Your Air-Conditioner for the Planet?"

"We may be in the clear when it comes to heat domes, but it’s still really hot. More than half the country could see temperatures in the 90s by the end of the week, and if that forecast comes true, you may find relief in the cool, crisp breeze of an air-conditioner.

But in the next few years, the way air-conditioners work could change. Last month, representatives from nearly 200 countries worked on a new environment agreement to regulate the use of HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons. These chemical compounds are responsible for keeping you cool on hot summer days, in air-conditioners and refrigerators. And even though you might not have heard of them, environmentalists, government officials and scientists say an agreement to limit HFCs represents a significant step in the fight to stave off the worst effects of global warming.

That’s because like other greenhouse gases, HFCs contribute to global warming. But mostly, they’re not coming from your air-conditioner, though air-conditioning poses other environmental problems. So we’re here to answer some questions you might have about HFCs, air-conditioning and this new treaty."

Tatiana Schlossberg reports for the New York Times August 9, 2016.

Source: NY Times, 08/12/2016