We’ve reached the midpoint of 2014, and when it comes to refrigerants, the HVACR industry is warily watching the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal courts, the global market place, and the Obama administration. All are in the mix for directions when it comes to supplies of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The EPA is on the radar screen for how much new and imported HCFC-22 it will allow to come to market heading to a final phaseout in the next three to five years. The courts are in the mix due to active and pending suits against the EPA, all aimed at expediting R-22’s grand finale. The global community is being watched for actions that could lead to a phasedown in production of HFCs. And, the Obama administration is being eyed because of chatter over possible unilateral action against high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs in favor of lower GWP HFCs and increased use of hydrocarbons (HCs).