Avoiding the Global Warming Potential of Mini-Splits?
There has been much discussion previously on the surprising global warming potential (GWP) of extruded polystyrene (XPS), at 1430. According to Wikipedia–so it must be true–the refrigerant R410A has a GWP of 1725. R410A is commonly used in heat pumps. Unintended consequences?
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This is an interesting question and I'd love to know more. If I understand correctly, the GWP of XPS is associated with the blowing agents used and released to the atmosphere during manufacture, whereas that of R410A is if the refrigerant is allowed to escape to the atmosphere after or during use and can be avoided if the material is properly contained and recycled. There's also the question of relative volumes, or more correctly masses, of the respective gases associated with typical construction situations.
My understanding is that it is illegal in the U.S. to allow these refrigerants to be released to the atmosphere. HVAC contractors are supposed to be trained in methods used to capture these gases and prevent their release to the atmosphere when it is necessary to remove or repair equipment that includes the gases.