The HVAC industry has long known that the Environmental Protection Agency had planned to stop the manufacturing of R-22 in the year 2020. But on Oct. 16, 2014, the EPA made headlines when it announced that R-22 refrigerant would begin phasing out gradually, starting three months later in 2015. Now, HVAC companies throughout the United States are preparing for the phase out of R-22.
What Is R-22 and Why Is It Being Phased Out?
R-22 is a common refrigerant used in HVAC systems. Put simply, refrigerants start as liquids, transition to a gas and then back again. In doing so, refrigerant helps to cool your home or business. However, due to its negative effects on the ozone (think depletion—yikes!), the EPA has planned to halt the production of the refrigerant. To do so, the EPA has attempted to reduce the use of the refrigerant by imposing strict rules on its production.
How is R-22 Being Phased Out?
In 2014, the EPA allowed 51 million pounds of R-22 to be produced and imported, but during the next five years, these numbers will steadily decrease until 2020. In 2020, new or imported R-22 will officially be banned in the United States due to its harmful effects on the environment. Below is the phase out schedule for R-22 on a year-by-year basis:
– 2015: 22 million pounds
– 2016: 18 million pounds
– 2017: 13 million pounds
– 2018: 9 million pounds
– 2019: 4 million pounds
– 2020: Banned from the United States
What Does This Mean for the HVAC Industry?
R-22 is an HVAC industry standard, so although the phasing out of R-22 will ultimately benefit the environment, it is an adjustment for those in the HVAC industry. Although the refrigerant is still available, the decrease in production and importation has already made an impact on HVAC companies and contractors around the United States. Mainly, technicians now have to learn how to use new industry standards rather than R-22. When it comes to the phase out, education is key. When technicians are educated, they can better educate their clients on the importance of a reduced carbon footprint.
Trust the HVAC Professionals at Engineered Air
At Engineered Air, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible service to our valued customers. That’s why we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible service to customers. Through continued education, we’re making sure we’re up to date on all of the latest refrigerant products and more. If you have any questions about the R-22 phase out and what it might mean for your home, contact us today.