A Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) study of three different Residential Heat Pumps models, comparing R410A, HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf, has shown that the direct impact of refrigerant leakage and end-of-life loss is respectively only 7.6, 5.3 and <1 % of their total climate impact.
Reducing the indirect impact of energy consumption is therefore the key to lowering the equipment total impact on climate change.
A comparison of the results for the same Heat pump in different locations shows large differences in total lifetime CO2 emissions, from 42.500 to 110.000 kg CO2, due to factors such as the local climate, the average temperatures and the CO2/kWh factor.
The LCCP model gives consistent results for different scenarios. Besides the indirect effect of energy consumption and the direct effect of refrigerant leakage and end-of-life loss, it appears that all other elements (equipment manufacturing, etc.) are negligible for the LCCP evaluation.
Another LCCP study, comparing Residential Air Source Heat Pumps, has also drawn the attention to the variation in indirect emissions between different locations.