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​Toshiba Air Conditioning shortlisted for H&V Award

Toshiba Air Conditioning

Toshiba Air Conditioning, which is a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd, has been placed on the shortlist for two highly significant awards in the forthcoming H&V News Awards for Excellence 2014.
The reason why Toshiba Air Conditioning is in line for these awards is due in no small part to their new innovative refrigerant leak prevention and management system, which helps to provide extra peace of mind to those building occupants and end users who may be at risk from a leak.

How does it work?

When a leak of refrigerant occurs, the innovative system helps to locate and isolate the problem, and what is more, if it deems the leak to be of a significant nature, the system will trigger an automatic pump down of the refrigerant, in order to prevent further leaks from taking place.
The system draws BREEAM points as confirmation of the environmental credentials of a building, and is being implemented by an increasing list of national end users, who are keen to do away with the prospect of refrigerant leaks from their property.

The significance of the innovation has now been acknowledged by the judges in the H&V News Awards, who have selected it in 2 groups – ‘Service and Maintenance Initiative of the Year’, and ‘Safety Initiative of the Year’.

David Dunn, Toshiba general manager, explains: “Environmental responsibility is a key focus for us at Toshiba. We have invested in developing this ‘total protection system’ as we are aware that minimising and managing refrigerant leakage is very important for customers, both from an environmental and health and safety point of view.”

Traditional methods shut down the entire system in the event of a leakage, effecting inhabitants throughout a building until such time, the source of the escape can be identified and fixed.
Toshiba’s most recent advancement means that only the immediate area served by the compromised circuit suffers loss of service.

He added: “We believe the approach is unique in the market. It is now being translated into solid commercial success, as some of our major national customers are specifying the technology as standard on Toshiba air conditioning installations.”

Why a Refrigerant leak Is Dangerous

The new innovation by Toshiba is vital because of the dangers of leaking refrigerant. There are a lot of different types of refrigerant used in air conditioning units, but the most popular are Freon or R-22. However, more modern air conditioning units make use of the more environmentally friendly refrigerant R410-A.
Every single one of these refrigerants are known as CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons, and they are harmful chemicals that are tightly monitored and regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which means that they need to be disposed of in a correct and proper manner. Due to the fact that most air conditioners do not actually consume any of the coolant it uses in operation, they will never need refilling, unless of course there is a leak. If there is a leak, this needs to be stopped as soon as possible, as chlorofluorocarbons can do a lot of damage to the environment.

In addition to being bad for the environment, refrigerant is also a highly toxic substance that can cause significant problems to health. When refrigerant leaks in to your home it will evaporate in to a gas, which when inhaled can lead to symptoms such as headache, nausea, and asphyxiation in the most extreme cases. Although death is an extremely rare occurrence, if you suspect that your air conditioning unit is leaking refrigerant, it is important that you call a repair specialist as soon as you can, in order to lower the health risks.

Damage to Your Air Conditioning Unit

As well as being dangerous to human health, and the environmental implications of leaking refrigerant, one of the most significant problems associated with a leak is the damage that it might cause to your air conditioning unit. As soon as coolant levels become too low, the unit will begin to suffer from damage and the compressor in particular will come in for some undue stress.

In addition to which, the cost of replacement refrigerant, especially R-22 is extremely expensive, and even a loss of 10% of the total refrigerant will cause an increase in the amount of energy that your unit uses, which can see energy bills rise by as much as 20%.

Steps to take when a Refrigerant Leak Occurs

If you think that your air conditioning unit is leaking refrigerant, you must take corrective action as soon as possible. You first need to make a call to a professional HVAC specialist, as they will have the experience and tools to stop the leak. It is important that you do not delay, as any delay could affect you and the environment in a negative way.
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