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issue: April 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Guest Editorial
Improving Life and the Environment


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by Geraud Darnis, chairman of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute

According to a poll conducted by The Henry Ford Foundation in Dearborn, MI, U.S. and America Online, the top innovation during the last 75 years that most influenced American life was air-conditioning. This poll of more than 2.5 million people demonstrates the impact that our industry continues to have on the way people live and work.

About the Author - Geraud Darnis is president of Carrier Corporation, a leading manufacturer of HVAC/R equipment. Mr. Darnis also serves as chairman of the board of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), the North American national trade association representing manufacturers of air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment.

Not only do we improve personal comfort in homes and the workplace, our products are important factors in productivity improvements, health care, food preservation, historical conservation, and high technology development such as the manufacturing of microchips. Hospitals rely on air-conditioning and refrigeration to offer 24-hr surgical suites, medicines, and vaccines. Fresh and frozen foods are transported great distances any time of the year, thanks to the products of our industry.

The members of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) have a significant track record for caring about improving life and the environment, such as supporting responsible use principles for the containment of refrigerants through proper training of personnel, comprehensive inspections, and rigorous enforcement. Our objective is to reduce refrigerant emissions as we help conserve energy and limit the resulting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Our industry can cite an outstanding record on improving energy efficiency and protecting the environment that will get even better.

ARI members are working closely with the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), a broad-based group active in the European air-conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration industry, as its members explain to European regulators that they should not limit refrigerant choice and risk losing environmental gains that come from choosing the appropriate refrigerant for a specific application.

According to predictions from the U.S. Department of Energy, the new 13 SEER minimum efficiency level in 2006 will save consumers U.S. $1 billion over 25 years and result in cumulative greenhouse gas emission reductions equal to that produced by approximately 3 million cars every year. Additionally, air pollution will be reduced by the elimination of approximately 94,000 metric tons of nitrous oxide between 2006 and 2020.

However, in adapting to this new minimum efficiency level, we face challenges. We need to work together to support proper sizing and matching of coils as the industry replaces tens of millions of existing residential central air-conditioners and heat pumps. Much of this will depend on technicians in the field. As an industry, we must work to support sizing guidelines from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and certification of technicians by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE).

I also urge you to support the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Scholarship Foundation, which promotes HVAC/R careers by providing training scholarships to talented students. This year the scholarship program launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign to help us meet our goal of recruiting the best and brightest to our industry.

Please help us make this campaign a success. By visiting www.reesscholarship.org, you can learn more about this scholarship program and download a donation form. Donations to the Rees Foundation are an investment in the future of our industry, which will pay dividends for decades by bringing us better trained and motivated technicians.

Regardless of how far we’ve come, there is still much to be done to improve the life and the environment of people around the world, and you can count on ARI to continue its contributing role.

 

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