Contractor Questions R-22 Shortage Prediction

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the various articles and editorials commenting on the prediction that there will be a shortage of R-22 refrigerant some time after Jan. 1, 2010.]

I don’t think we are going to see R-22 consumption as predicted. HVAC manufacturers will not be consuming, as they will be charging new equipment with R-410A. Contractors will be recommending that customers replace equipment with new R-410A equipment when leaks are not repairable. I also see better system dependability when it comes to newer R-22 equipment not having refrigerant leaks. If anything, we could actually see a surplus as older equipment is recovered. We recover R-22, and I would hope other contractors are doing the same.

You know all the horror stories when copper went sky high? Churches and many others were finding their air conditioner’s copper gutted or equipment removed. With high R-22 pricing, how are we going to stop anyone from making a quick $50 by removing refrigerant from a working system?

It is sad to see our industry heading down this road. It is sadder to see this totally fabricated impact on our U.S. citizens and our customers during this recession.

John G. Kopp
Ocean Air Conditioning & Heating Co.
Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Send correspondence via e-mail to

Publication date:12/14/2009