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Understanding the Impact of HVAC and Refrigeration on the Climate

Picture this.


You return home after staying long hours outdoors in the sweltering heat of NYC in July. And suddenly you find that your AC is not working. You reach for the fridge only to find that it is not cooling anymore.


Spending summers like this can be one the nightmarish experiences for all of us, right? The point is that we need fridges and ACs to survive the ever-increasing heat waves. But what if the same fridge and AC systems heat the climate?


Yes, this paradox is true.


Our domestic cooling pieces of equipment account for nearly 10% of global CO2 emissions--three times the amount generated by aviation and shipping combined. The blast in world temperature has spiked the demand for cooling.Air conditioners are now in almost 90% of homes in the US, while refrigerators are in most kitchens. 


And both use powerful chemicals like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to keep their products cool or cold - which release into the atmosphere, trapping heat like a greenhouse, contributing to global warming and making it more difficult for us all to breathe clean air. Read on to learn more about cooling equipments affect on our climate. 

‍How Do Refrigerators and HVAC Affect the Climate?

Whether an HVAC or a fridge, any energy use that goes to minimizing temperature also produces greenhouse gases.


The astronomical amount of energy consumption (mainly from fossil fuels) has impacted the environment to a great extent.On top of that, cooling machines like fridges and AC use refrigerants, a chemical used to minimize temperature. 


Some are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, which can damage the ozone layer, while others can release greenhouse gases. One KG of refrigerant can produce two tonnes of carbon dioxides, the same as running your vehicle for six months.Even a few refrigerants can significantly impact the climate if they leak out.If refrigeration were its own country, it would be the 5th most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.


And a 2020 research report by the United Nations Environment Program found that around 3.6 billion cooling machines are in operation worldwide. If we do nothing, by 2050, there will be 70 million tons more CO2 emissions than today due to increased cooling needs. The excessive use of HVAC and refrigeration significantly impacts the environment. Cooling is responsible for about six percent of all global energy use. And as the world gets hotter, that number will only rise.


These substances contribute to global warming and ozone depletion by trapping long-wave radiation from Earth’s surface.

‍Adding temperature monitoring can reduce environmental harm. 

The sad reality is that the ever-increasing reliance on cooling equipment will only lead to a bleak future. Taking small steps to ensure you are reducing refrigerant leaks and carbon emissions could make a difference in maintaining a sustainable environment. Instead, take some small steps that can make significant positive changes. Here's how:


  • Effective IoT systems can significantly reduce the impact of equipment failures 
  • An IoT system can also detect when your HVAC or cooling system is out of the adequate temperature range to avoid temperature excursions.
  • Automated temperature monitoring systems like Therma° allow food service businesses to receive real-time temperature data. 
  • Temperature data not only prevent equipment failure but also decreases energy use. 

If you’re interested in trying Therma° in your business, click the link below to purchase Therma’s IoT monitoring system today. 


Buy Now

Clean Cold and the Global Goals - 


“Nearly 90% of U.S. Households Used Air Conditioning in 2020.” Homepage - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA),,use%20air%20conditioning%20(AC).


Environment, UN. “Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report.” UNEP,