In October 2014, the EPA announced its final phasedown schedule regarding the production and importation of HCFC-22. The order called for an immediate drop from 51 million pounds allowed in 2014 to 22 million pounds in 2015, 18 million pounds in 2016, 13 million pounds in 2017, 9 million pounds in 2018, and 4 million pounds in 2019. No new or imported R-22 will be allowed in the U.S. on or after Jan. 1, 2020.
In many ways, refrigerant recovery and reclamation is an example of human ingenuity at its best. An innovative and essential product is created, and then a way is devised to prolong its usefulness by collecting it after years of service, purifying it, and using it again.
The ongoing phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), such as R-22, holds many unknowns for the HVACR industry as 2020 approaches, but at least one sector of the industry anticipates tremendous opportunity: the reclamation sector.
Proactive HVAC contractors have been working to educate their employees and clients on the inevitable phaseout. And, with the price of R-22 already starting to rise in many areas, educated contractors are finding it easier to convince customers to replace aging R-22 units with newer, more efficient models.
Now that we are in a new year of greatly reduced supplies of new and imported HCFC-22, it is important to note that there is no ban on the use of R-22. You can use R-22 for as long as supplies last and you have well running R-22 equipment to service.
Final Rule Slashes Production, Importation Come Jan. 1
October 20, 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its final phase down schedule regarding production and importation of HCFC-22 refrigerant. It calls for an immediate drop come this Jan. 1 from 51 million pounds allowed in 2014 to 22 million pounds in 2015.
Charlie McCrudden, senior vice president of government relations at ACCA, discusses the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 phaseout, how it could affect HVACR contractors, how alternative refrigerants may be affected in the future, and what the industry needs to do to stay on top of the changes.