The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its plan to cut the use of R-22 refrigerants in HVAC systems as per the Montreal Protocol, reports ACHR News editor Peter Powell.
The order calls for an immediate drop from 51 million pounds allowed in 2014 to 22 million pounds beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Subsequently, 18 million pounds of new and imported R-22 will be allowed 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.
The reduction will have significant impacts in the market. First, less virgin R-22 refrigerants will be available for HVAC manufacturers or repair services down the road, until its ultimate phase-out in 2020. Second, customers may eventually need to shift to new HVAC models that use R-22's successors like the R-410A.
The good news, however, is that the five year plan provides ample time and provision to make the transition easier for everyone--manufacturers, contractors, and consumers alike. The better news is that discontinuing R-22 use will go a long way in protecting the environment.
R-410A is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) while R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Dropping chlorine from the compound makes the difference in saving the ozone layer. The EPA estimates that one chlorine atom is capable of destroying over 100,000 ozone atoms before being removed naturally.
With the regulation of virgin R-22 manufacture and use, locals can rely on Shreveport air conditioning repair services to be on top of the situation, and be ready with solutions that will help ensure uninterrupted performance of their A/C units.
One of these solutions is using reclaimed R-22 refrigerants, which, given the new ruling, is seen to become a major player in the A/C aftermarket down the road. While the supply of virgin R-22 will be discontinued come 2020, reclaimed versions processed under EPA guidelines will continue to be used.
Consumers who are not prepared to install new A/C units may also have the option of having their current ones retrofitted with a compressor that works with R-410A refrigerant, and can expect an experienced service provider like AccuTemp Cooling and Heating to handle the job. DIY repairs or changes may present health hazards, as contact with refrigerants can cause dizziness, headaches, irritation of the nasal cavity, and increased heart rate. Shreveport AC repair services carry special equipment to handle refrigerants safely.
When virgin R-22 will be all but gone in 2020, consumers can rely on Shreveport A/C experts to help make the change with the least interruption in their convenience.
(Source: EPA Finalizes R-22 Phaseout Plan, ACHR News, November 3, 2014)