The national economic downturn has slowed replacement in buildings of comfort cooling chillers that use chlorofluorocarbons, according to the ARI.

The national economic downturn has slowed replacement in buildings of comfort cooling chillers that use chlorofluorocarbons, according to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI).

ARI reports that manufacturers predict that by year-end, 48% of the original 80,000 CFC chillers will still rely on the refrigerants that were banned from U.S. production at the end of 1995 due to concerns about depletion of the Earth's protective ozone layer.

A survey of large tonnage liquid chiller manufacturers by ARI revealed that 2,931 CFC chillers were converted to non-CFC refrigerants or replace by new non-CFC equipment during 2001, with 3,124 more expected in 2002, leaving an estimated 38,281 CFC units still in use.

Manufacturers said that in 2002 they expect 360 conversions and 2,764 replacements, bringing the total to 41,719 units or 52% of the original 80,000 CFC chillers in place in the early 1990s.

The slowdown in the global economy in 2001 was seen in the shipment of 7,171 non-CFC chillers for new buildings and CFC replacements here and abroad, according to ARI - a 7% decline compared to the 7,731 units shipped in 2000. However, factory shipments are at least double the pace of 15 years ago when in 1987 they totaled 3,744 units.