Concerns around heat pumps – Heat pumps have refrigerants circulating to heat and cool. Are sellers and installers including a Materials Safety Data Sheet giving the specifications about the refrigerants?
Typical homes with older pumps use R134a, newer ones use R1234ya because R134a was phased out over concerns about its effect on the ozone layer. Most refrigerants, including newer formulations, affect ozone and can have other environmental impacts if a leak develops in the pump’s system. This is a likely reason why your installer recommends a licensed, trained professional to inspect the unit twice per year and ascertain that it is in good working order.
As consumers, we need to inform ourselves of the possible issues concerning these devices, and then make informed decisions based on risk assessment versus what is essentially a mandate from our state government.
Should we think about the downstream effect of unintended consequences, i.e. accidents, acts of nature, or violence? The tragic accident in East Palestine comes to mind. These gases and chemicals are moved around all over the country from storage to manufacturer to storage to dealer to consumer via container ship, barge, rail, truck. Are our local emergency services ready to handle these possible catastrophes? Are homeowners aware of the dangers of these gases if there were a fire at their home?
Granted petrochemicals have similar opportunity costs. We have lived with them for more than a century. But the safe for the environment and effective energy conservation messaging have me reassessing. – Joanne Bertrand, Lyndonville
All Vermonters are paying Burlington’s bills – I bring to your attention an article in Seven Days regarding Burlington High School. From the article:
“Flanagan and other school officials are closely tracking H.486, a bill that would pause the state’s school PCB testing program and allocate $16 million for demolition and removal of PCBs at Burlington High School. The House advanced the measure last week, and it’s now before the Senate.”
“I believe [legislators] understand that this is not a local issue; this is a state issue,” Flanagan said. “As the key economic driver of our state, having strong workforce development in place and having a healthy high school is critically important to the health of our state.”
I trust senators are aware that public school infrastructure costs (both remediation and new construction) become part of school budgets. Since 2/3rds of Vermont residents receive some financial assistance from the State Education Fund via income sensitivity, the reality is every Vermont resident (throughout the entire State) who pays education taxes into the State Education Fund will be contributing to the new high school in Burlington.
Most people do not understand this aspect of public school financing in Vermont.
Now the Superintendent in Burlington is pleading for another $16 million dollars… contributed by all Vermont taxpayers… to be provided by the Legislature to Burlington for demolition and removal of PCBs.
Let me say the obvious: Burlington has some of the wealthiest Vermonters in the entire State and the budget of Burlington dwarfs that of many Vermont communities. The needs of Burlington should be the responsibility of the residents of Burlington.
Once again an all-too-often economic malignancy is profiled in Vermont. I detail it as “gimme, gimme, gimme; more, more, more.”
I encourage you to tell your legislators that all Vermonters will be contributing to the new Burlington high school because of how public school financing works in Vermont.
Burlington asking for an additional $16 million dollars of taxpayer money is, plain and simple, greed elevated to an offensive degree.
The Legislature should tell Burlington the City should pay its own bills. – Gerry Silverstein, South Burlington