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What You need to Know About the EPAs Freon 22 Phase-Out
If your existing HVAC system, air conditioner or other refrigeration unit is an older model that uses R-22 refrigerant — also known as HCFC-22 or freon (a registered trademark of DuPont that has since come into general use) — there are a number of important facts you need to know as the phase-out of this potentially harmful hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) gradually moves closer to a complete ban.
A partial list of potentially affected equipment follows:
- Central air conditioners
- Window AC units
- Ductless air conditioners
- Air-to-air heat pumps
- Ground-source heat pumps
- Packaged AC units
- Packaged heat pumps
- Motor vehicle AC systems
Equipment used in commercial and/or industrial applications, includes the following:
- Ice machines
- Retail refrigerators
- Retail freezers
- Restaurant refrigerators
- Restaurant freezers
- Cold-storage units/warehouses
- Refrigerated transport
- Industrial process refrigeration
Phasing Out the Offending Substance
While most HVAC equipment manufactured today uses other, safer types of coolant, many systems manufactured before 2010 still use the HCFC-22 coolant originally developed by DuPont. To be fair to those who own these systems, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a gradual, long-term phase-out plan for the coolant. Full implementation of the Clean Air Act Section 608 phase-out, overseen by the EPA, is scheduled for 2030, at which time the HCFC phase-out will be complete.
How the HCFC-22 Phase Out Will Affect Consumers
The consumer whose HVACR equipment uses freon or another HCFC coolant will experience the following changes:
- As the phase-out period advances, regulations regarding HCFCs will increase.
- Consumers who use large amounts of coolant will be responsible for timely repair of coolant leaks and, in some cases, installation of leak-detecting equipment.
- As supplies of these coolants decrease, demand will increase, causing prices to rise.
- These coolants will gradually become scarce, though rising costs may create increased incentive to recycle used coolant, which could mitigate the problem to an unknown degree.
- Consumers will eventually need to replace their R-22 and R-142b charged equipment with newer models that use more environmentally-friendly coolants.
The R-22 phase-out is already underway with the deadline approaching rapaidly. Some options you might consider:
- Switching to alltemp® solutions, the most efficient true drop-in refrigerant, not an additive, that meets the Montreal/Kyoto Protocols and EPA standards with the lowest GWP for an HFC. No oil or valve changes needed. Yields 10%-40% reduction in kWh without any loss in capacity.
- Replacing your HCFC model with newer equipment now to avoid being affected by the phase-out
- Starting to save for a replacement system while continuing to use your current HVAC equipment or AC unit until R-22 becomes more scarce and more expensive
- Replacing only the affected component(s) of your HVAC system
- Upgrading your system to an ENERGY STAR-qualified, high-efficiency system
- Replacing your commercial HVAC system or refrigeration equipment and claiming a Section 179 deduction
- Waiting until HCFCs are banned before replacing your current equipment (not recommended)
How is alltemp™ made?
By bonding R-134a with a proprietary Halo-Alkaline complex through heat and pressure
What is a Halo-Alkaline complex?
A blend of organic oils. alltemp’s complex is a proprietary blend
Why are you calling it R134a if it is not R134a?
Legally, we are required to classify alltemp as R134a, based on the test and protocols established by the EPA and ANSI/ASHRAE.
Why is alltemp™ different than competing refrigerants?
alltemp™ is different in many ways, but the main differences are:
- alltemp™ is not a blend, so there is no glide and efficiency loss at high temperatures;
- alltemp™ does not require compressor oil change in mineral oil systems, reducing the time and costs of installation;
- alltemp™ does not lose capacity compared to the native refrigerant being replaced
- alltemp™ was designed to provide energy savings and not to be just a drop in replacement.
What certifications has alltemp™ received?
- alltemp™ has been certified by Intertek to have an AHRI classification of R-134a.
- AHRI 86 – using POE lubricant in place of mineral oil and alltemp in place of R22
- AHRI 97 – aging of copper, aluminum and steel in alltemp without changes
- GWP – Interek certified 1151 GWP. Lowest of any non-flammable HFC
- AHRI 210/240 showing a 21% increase in EER/SEER rating of R22 equipment
Why haven’t any OEM endorsed alltemp?
OEM’s are in the business of selling new equipment, not extending the life of existing equipment. With the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the largest refrigerant manufacturers moved toward a new refrigerant type, hydrofluoroolefins
(HFOs), to replace HFCs and HCFCs. These new refrigerants are enabling manufactures to sell new equipment and new gases, increasing their revenues. They now consider HFC’s as a backwards refrigerant and will no longer certify new replacements that can jeopardize their significant investments in new refrigerants.
What type of systems can alltemp operate?
Positive displacement systems only. alltemp runs at lower pressure than R22 and R404a, so depending on the system setup, fan controls, or head master setting may need to be adjusted. In HVAC, alltemp, to date, has not required any changes. In walk-in coolers and freezers, a chance to the powerhead will allow alltemp to work in a wide range of operating temperatures.
What you will notice?
An Immediate reduction in compressor amps along with a quieter sounding compressor and lower pressures. Approximately 24 hours after initial installation, a further reduction in amps will be realized. That is because alltemp is “treating” the inside of the system, which helps increase heat transfer as well as reduced friction inside the system.
Testing that has been done
Extensive M&V has been conducted, ranging from 1.5-ton split systems up to 500-ton chillers (air and water cooled) and everything in between. Reports can be found on our website and data can be provided upon request.
Will installing alltemp affect my warranty?
Most R22 systems are beyond the manufacturer’s warranty period. CSES is working with an insurance company to provide compressor coverage for the amount of time remaining from the manufacturer when alltemp is installed during that remaining timeframe. CSES can provide liability coverage in the unlikely event, alltemp® is the cause of equipment failure.
If your system is currently running R-134a, alltemp WILL NOT void your warranty, per Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act.
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