Angela D. Harris

“One, two, skip a few, 99, 100.” Those are the familiar words of a hide-n-seek cheater. The hiders rarely heard the cheating mantra and if caught, the cheater’s consequences were practically nil with this old schoolyard game.

Lack of consequences, however, is not the case when it comes to the approaching R-22 phaseout deadline. What then should responsible contractors do? It could be as simple as a three-step process.

Step 1:Know what the law requires of them, their business, and their technicians. Ignorance in this case is not bliss, and leaving responsibilities to chance could cause some serious infractions of the law costing contractors time, money, and possibly their business.

Step 2:Make the changeover to R-410A a priority. After hearing about this subject for over a year, it is easy to get caught in thinking there is plenty of time to adjust business strategies and installation/service procedures. With less than two months to go, it is time to send this item to the top of the list.

Step 3:Implement strategic buying, selling, installing, and servicing practices designed specifically for R-410A refrigerant. Some of these new procedures may take a little practice before getting them right, and waiting until the last minute to try out new business procedures could be a headache.


The three-step process is a good place to start, but like the hide-n-seek cheater, contractors who don’t go beyond these three basic steps have skipped a few essential R-410A conversion components; mainly training.

There are many new technical intricacies to master with the usage of R-410A, and is one entity that has provided new tools for contractors to prepare and train. One tool offered is an R-410A Knowledge Assessment. On it are found questions asking about the pressure in an R-410A system, which is 50-70 percent higher than in an R-22 system. And, whom does Section 608 Regulations restrict the sale of refrigerant to? What is the name of a highly recommended method for electrical troubleshooting an R-410A system? Does R-410A act like an azeotrope?

There are a total of 12 questions on the quiz. Approximately 93 people have taken this quiz, myself included, and the real shock is the average score. Some quiz takers are all set and ready to go. There were even a few 100 percent scores. Others passed barely at 75 percent. The overall average, however, is only 61 percent and with time running short contractors may want to consider double-checking their R-410A installation and service skill sets.


Knowing that the changeover process could be a challenge,The NEWSbegan compiling legal and technical information on a Countdown to 2010 microsite earlier this year. With the countdown clock still running, we have refocused the site to help contractors answer the question, “Are you ready?”

New features include’s R-410A Knowledge Assessment along with a previously recorded Webinar outlining the steps to contractor readiness. There is also a new checklist that contractors are able to print off and use to verify that their business is ready. This two-page document provides tips for R-410A preparedness.

Along with these features will be all of 2009’s Countdown to 2010 supplements in digital edition format, as well as a bank of articles run inThe NEWS. Going through this information may bring up some pertinent questions, so ask away.The NEWShas put together a panel of experts to answer any R-410A sales, install, service, and distribution questions.

The 2010 deadline is coming quickly, and if you have skipped a few steps in your preparations, now is the time to return to the tree of knowledge and finish counting. Visit

Publication date:11/16/2009