Refrigeration / Refrigerants & Reclaim

Consumer Media Spreading the Word on Industry Concerns

TV Station Airs Story on R-22 Phaseout

We should always be happy when the media outside our industry draws attention to the challenges faced by HVACR contractors.

That’s why it was good to see a television station in Kentucky that serves a pretty large area of southern Illinois, northern Kentucky, and parts of Missouri, come to their aid.

A story aired on July 5 and mainly dealt with the rising costs of HCFC-22 as related to home air conditioning due to the government-mandated (as the story made clear) phaseout of the refrigerant. It did a good job of deflecting blame for cost hikes from the contractor.

Of course, being a medium outside this industry, the station’s story did err in a couple of points, albeit minor ones.

The story said, “The EPA reduced the amount of R-22 companies are allowed to produce each year.” Technically, the EPA allowed a slight spike in production in 2013 versus 2014 — but the downward spiral will resume in 2014 to a phaseout in 2020.

The other bugaboo — the story referred to all R-22 as “Freon,” which the story did repeatedly. That’s the brand name of one of many manufacturers of R-22, and that is kind of like calling all facial tissue Kleenex and all copiers Xerox; it’s technically not correct. But maybe the Kentucky station has a lax policy in preciseness for facial tissue and copiers as well.

The fact of the matter is, many in the HVACR industry still say “Freon” for all CFCs and HCFCs. So we stand guilty as charged as well.

Despite all that, kudos to WPSD-TV for helping HVACR contractors in dealing with cost-cringing customers.

Publication date: 8/19/2013

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