15 March 2016
Air conditioners currently serve a role that goes beyond simply providing comfortable environments; they have
become an essential item to realise the minimum levels of wholesome and cultured living. Especially in developing
countries located in tropical and subtropical regions, air conditioning can be a health issue. On the other hand, as an energy-intensive industrial product, air conditioners can contribute to global warming. To reduce climate impacts, air conditioner energy efficiency has improved significantly with the industry also treating energy efficiency as a development issue of the highest priority. In addition, the effect on global warming of refrigerants, a key element of air conditioners to convey heat, has also become controversial in recent years.
The use of alternative refrigerants that perform well with reduced environmental impact is desirable, but it is also a fact that there are no ideal alternative substances that meet all of the requirements at present. While presenting the current issues, this paper describes air conditioner challenges and how they are being addressed to achieve a low-carbon society.