ARI supports building act to reduce depreciation period for chillers.

ARLINGTON, Va. - Manufacturers of chillers used for air conditioning in buildings replaced or converted 2,753 units that use chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants during 2004, ARI officials said.

That leaves an estimated 33,000 chillers still using CFCs, according to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

The annual survey of chiller manufacturers by ARI showed that as of Jan. 1, U.S. building owners had replaced or converted 46,703 units, or 58 percent, of the 80,000 CFC chillers in use at the end of 1995. According to ARI, at the current pace, it will take more than 10 years to replace all the CFC chillers in operation today.

ARI also reported that during 2004 there were 176 conversions and 2,753 chillers replaced with non-CFC equipment. The pace of the phase-out has been slower than expected due in part to federal tax laws, which require depreciation of the chillers over 39 years.

ARI supports the Cool and Efficient Buildings Act, which would reduce the depreciation period from 39 to 20 years.