Plan to reduce HFCs won’t increase prices on air conditioners or refrigerators

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Air-conditioner and refrigerator manufacturers will phase out the use of coolants that harm the ozone layer over the next few years, but experts tell Consumers Digest that the change likely won’t have a significant effect on prices.

The plan to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as a coolant in refrigerators and air conditioners was bolstered June 9, 2013,when the United States and China agreed to reduce the use of HFCs. In total, 195 other countries and European Union agreed to phase out the use of chemicals that are associated with ozone depletion.

Appliance analysts say that manufacturers will phase out the use of HFCs, and that it could take at 5 years before most refrigerators and air conditioners no longer use HFCs.

Furthermore, the elimination of HFCs likely won’t increase the cost of air conditioners or refrigerators, because coolants are a small component in the overall cost of such products, experts say.

“You’re not going to see a huge spike in refrigerator costs because of this,” says analyst Michael Deneen of market-research company Freedonia Group.

– K. Fanuko