Landfills are becoming lonelier places and Canadians’ carbon footprints are smaller thanks to environmental initiatives spearheaded by the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.
The industry is continually pursuing greater efficiencies in new and existing products, promoting conservation practices to industry and consumers, working with government on minimum equipment efficiencies and voluntarily implementing recycling and other environmentally-responsible programs.
Manufacturers are being recognized for developing sophisticated products that are highly efficient, rely less on carbon-based fuels to heat and cool homes and businesses, improve indoor air quality, and more. Professional contractors strive to design and install the most energy-efficient equipment available and promote conservation practices and such as right-sizing, equipment maintenance, programmable thermostats and zoning.
In addition to providing contractors with tools to promote energy conservation practices, The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) oversees or manages a number of unique programs that have a direct influence on energy conservation and responsible environmental practices:
- Refrigerant Management Canada manages the responsible collection, transportation and disposal of ozone-depleting refrigerants. The program has safely collected and destroyed more than one million kilograms of refrigerant waste.
- Responsible Equipment Management promotes best-practices for the disposal of decommissioned equipment. Nearly 90% of HRAI members say they ensure all refrigerants and oils are removed from retired appliances. Parts and scrap metal are retained for future use whenever possible, or properly recycled through a recognized facility.
- Heating & Cooling Incentive, offered in partnership with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), helps homeowners reduce electricity use, conserve energy and qualify for rebates up to $550.
- HRAI continues to work with the federal government on energy efficient product labeling. For example, the EnerGuide designation is now available for gas fireplaces through an agreement between Natural Resources Canada and HRAI.
- HRAI’s SkillTech Academy trains technicians to design and install HVAC equipment in conformance with the building code. Recognizing the environmental benefits of such training, the federal government provides a $200 per course subsidy.