The first annual World Refrigeration Day, 26 June 2019, recognises the importance of refrigeration technologies in everyday life.
Refrigeration technology does more than keep your fridge cool. It is used in freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps and has become essential to modern life.
Refrigeration technology not only provides for comfort in our homes, offices, hotels, hospitals and other buildings, it contributes to society in many other ways:
Food. Refrigeration is important along the food chain, from harvest to production and transport to display to home storage, preserving freshness, reducing food waste and contributing to food safety.
Healthcare. Refrigeration preserves medicines, including vaccines, and supports innovative therapies such as cryosurgery.
Information and communications technology. Data centres that enable our modern telecommunications are cooled by refrigeration technology so that they can function every minute of every day.
Refrigeration technology also enables many manufacturing processes, natural gas supply, and major science projects such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Increasing use of refrigeration technology does have environmental costs. Gases previously used in refrigeration equipment damaged the ozone layer and are no longer used in new equipment. Today’s commonly used refrigerant gases don’t harm the ozone layer but are powerful greenhouse gases. Governments around the world are working together with industry to reduce the environmental effects of refrigeration technology. Over the last 3 decades, industry has removed all ozone depleting gases from their products and reduced the global warming impact of the refrigerant gases in new equipment by 90%. The energy efficiency of equipment has also improved greatly; for example, domestic refrigerators use 65% less energy than 15 years ago.
The refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia employs over 300,000 people across 20,000 businesses. The engineers and technicians who work in this sector are trained and qualified to keep refrigeration equipment running efficiently and prevent emissions of environmentally damaging refrigerant gas. Use the Australian Refrigeration Council’s Look for the Tick tool to find a licensed technician to install, maintain and repair your air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
Air conditioning and heating can be a large part of energy costs for households and businesses. Choosing the right equipment is a great start to keep energy costs down. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and servicing the equipment, including some simple regular cleaning you may be able to do yourself, will help keep it running efficiently and save on household and business electricity bills.