An air conditioner's filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance and increases your energy uses.
Making sure you air filters are cleaned regularly helps the unit run efficiently. Clogged, dirty filters block airflow and reduce a system's efficiency significantly.When your filters are clogged and dirty this obstructs the air flow. What air that does pass, will carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil's heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. It is necessary to replace your systems air filters on a monthly basis. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or if you have pets in the house.
The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, have your evaporator coil checked every year and clean it as necessary.
Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.
For more information on maintaining your air conditioner give us a call. We are happy to answer any questions you have.
If you are interested in purchasing a maintenance agreement, check out the benefits and discounts under the repairs tab and give us a call.
Keep your home cool without breaking the bank. Ameristar air conditioning units provide quiet, effective cooling through the height of summer. Ameristar offers systems available from 13 up to 14 SEER they come with painted, galvanized steel cabinets that are resisted to rust. For the systems that carry R410A they come with a 10 year parts and compressor warranty. Call today for a free estimate on any new Ameristar Unit.
Click the link below for the Ameristar Brochure
The Trane TruComfort™ systems give you precise comfort by running at the exact speed needed to keep your home comfortable. This allows the compressor, outdoor fan, and indoor fan to vary operating speed and BTU as the temperature outside changes, slowing down or speeding up gradually in as little as 1/10 of 1% increments to keep comfort within 1/2° of the thermostat setting.
The XV20i air conditioner is one of the industry’s most efficient systems, with ratings up to 21 SEER. With Trane TruComfort™ technology, the 21-SEER air conditioner automatically adjusts itself while maintaining constant and consistent speeds to avoid temperature swings.
ComfortLink™ II communicating technology (available when matched with communicating indoor units) connects all of your key components so your system automatically configures and calibrates for optimal performance and efficiency through the lifetime of your products.
Rigorously tortured and tested for long-lasting durability, you can be sure this system will hold up to anything, without holding up your bank account. And with the quiet running fan, 4 dB below our competitor’s minimum, you can be sure you are getting a quiet air conditioner and the best all-around system for your home.
Add Trane CleanEffects™ to your system to filter the incoming air to eliminate dust, pollen, and other irritants for a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable home.
See more information at http://www.trane.com/residential/en/products/heating-and-cooling/air-conditioners/xv20i-air-conditioners.html
Air can enter the system through a leak in the low side of the refrigeration system. Refrigerant leaks will eventually lead to an undercharged system. Severely undercharged systems will run vacuums in the low side. These vacuums will suck in air from the atmosphere because the system’s low-side pressure is lower than the atmospheric pressure.
Know the Symptoms
The symptoms of air in a refrigeration system are:
• High discharge temperature;
• High condensing (head) pressure;
• High condenser sub cooling;
• High condenser split;
• High compression ratios;
• Normal to slightly higher evaporator (suction) pressures;
• Normal super heats; and
• High amp draws.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
High Discharge Temperatures — These are caused by high compression ratios. High heats of compression are associated with high compression ratios. High compression ratios are associated with high condensing (head) pressure. The compressor has to compress suction vapors through a greater pressure range; thus, more heat is generated.
High Condensing (Head) Pressures — High head or condensing pressures are generated from the air taking up condensing surface volume at the top of the condenser. Because the air stays at the top of the condenser and doesn’t condense, it leaves a smaller condenser to de-super heat, condense, and sub cool the refrigerant.
High Condenser Sub cooling — The elevated condensing temperatures and pressures make the sub cooled liquid in the bottom of the condenser hotter. Now there is more of a temperature difference between the sub cooled liquid and the ambient to where heat is rejected. This will increase the rate of heat transfer from the sub cooled liquid because the temperature difference is the driving potential for the heat transfer to take place.
The higher sub cooling does not necessarily mean there is more liquid at the condenser’s bottom, it just means there is more cooling of the same amount of liquid to make the temperature difference greater. Remember, condenser sub cooling is a temperature difference between the liquid temperature at the condenser outlet and the condensing temperature.
High Condenser Splits — Because the air is sitting at the top of the condenser, causing elevated condensing pressures and temperatures, the temperature difference between the surrounding ambient and the condensing temperature will be high. This temperature is defined as the condenser split.
High Compression Ratios — The higher condensing (head) pressures will cause the compression ratio to increase, causing low volumetric efficiency and loss
Normal to Slightly Higher Evaporator (Suction) Pressures — A system’s thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) will control super heat as long as the pressure ranges of the valve are not exceeded. It takes a very high head pressure to exceed the pressure range of most TXVs. The TXV may overfeed a bit on its opening strokes because of the greater pressure difference across its orifice, giving it a slightly higher capacity. This may give the evaporator a suction pressure that’s a bit higher than normal.
If the amount of air in the condenser is extreme, the compression ratio will skyrocket and cause very low volumetric efficiency. This will cause a low capacity, and the box temperature may rise. This added heat in the box may cause evaporator pressure to increase because of the added heat load.
Normal Super heats — As mentioned earlier, the TXV will try to maintain evaporator super heat as long as the valve’s pressure range is not exceeded. The opening strokes of TXV may momentarily overfeed the evaporator, but it will start to gain control shortly afterwards.
High Amp Draws — The high compression ratio will cause a greater pressure range for the suction vapors to be compressed. This will require more work from the compressor and increase the amp draw.
By John Tomczyk
Publication date: 6/1/2015
cooling season arrives, said Kenneth Gaglione, director, product marketing, aftermarket refrigerants, Honeywell Intl. Inc., adding the weather will play a critical role in estimating future R-22 demand.
“After a cooler-than-normal 2014 season, some forecasts indicate warm weather from Canada, and the plains will flow into the Northeast this year to produce 10 more days above 90°F compared to last year,” he said. “There also seems to be no relief in sight to the historic drought in California, and the Midwest could see above-average temperatures.”
Overall, increased temperatures this summer could produce a corresponding increase in demand for R-22. Gaglione said he expects sufficient channel inventory to meet this demand early in the season, but inventories will decline as new supplies are limited by EPA-mandated production limits and the effect stockpiling will have on availability.
“Higher-than-average temperatures or humidity could accelerate perceived market tightness,” he said.
“Many contractors are seeking information on alternatives, such as R-422D, so they have options should the warmer-than-average summer forecast create a spike in demand for R-22.”
Supplies of R-22 are ample — at least right now — because of past inventory balances as well as manufacturers’ allocations, said Jay Kestenbaum, senior vice president, sales and purchasing, Airgas Inc.“There does not appear to be excess material being offered by any of the producers above the amounts set aside and allocated for each customer. The fact that there does not appear to be any significant reduction in demand means wholesalers and other suppliers will no doubt need to take product from built-up inventory to supply the market demand expected for this year. Demand in 2015 will clearly be greater than the amounts allocated for total production in the U.S.
“Several price changes issued by all the manufacturers over the past few months have led to increased prices, and there is no reason to expect that prices will not continue to keep rising as supplies continue to tighten over the season and in the next several years of final production,” he added.
According to Kestenbaum, it’s important to note that current prices are still considerably below the market prices of early 2013, when prices were $400-$500 per 30-pound cylinder for quantity sales until the EPA suddenly expanded supply allowances, causing a severe drop in pricing. The difference now is that the total allowances for 2015 are a mere 22 million pounds, down 65 percent from the 63 million in 2013, and there is little time left to the mandated 2020 end of production.
“Users must plan their needs carefully or adapt to new alternatives and take advantage of recovery and reclamation options to provide for the remaining product needed,” he said.
Carl Grolle, owner and president, Golden Refrigerant, said supplies and prices of R-22 this summer are a bit of a mystery because no one is really sure how much R-22 exists. He noted there is no central reserve of the refrigerant and no requirement for suppliers to report how much they have stockpiled.
“It’s like drinking out of a straw when you don’t know how much is left in the cup,” Grolle said. “All you know is that, as long as you pull on it, there’s something there, and right now there’s something there.”
Grolle said he suspects many refrigerant suppliers are not too concerned about selling their R-22 at the moment because, judging from current prices, supply is exceeding — or at least equaling — demand.
“It’s really a classic supply-and-demand scenario,” he said. “I think a lot of people are sitting back thinking the price will go up, and they’re not all that worried about selling it right now. Good things happen to those who wait. We’re not looking to make a killing, but we also know we cannot just go out and buy more R-22 to replenish our stock. We’ve invested in this refrigerant, and I don’t think people are really excited about moving it at the current price. I know I’m not ready to rush in and force the price down when we suspect more demand is right around the corner with the first couple of heatwaves this summer.”
In the long term, demand exceeding supply and the consequent higher prices are inevitable, he added, but, “We just don’t know what that timetable looks like.”
Joyce Wallace, refrigerants business and marketing manager, DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts, agrees that uncertainty rules the day when it comes to the R-22 supply in the 2015 cooling season.
“This year, there will be 57 percent less R-22 produced in the U.S., and, although prices are higher than last year, R-22 demand is expected to be strong,” she said. “With only 22 million pounds of production available this year and demand estimated at more than 55 million pounds, inventories will start to deplete.”
Wallace noted there are only five cooling seasons remaining before the complete R-22 phaseout in 2020, so the importance of having a refrigerant management plan is growing exponentially.
“DuPont is encouraging its customers to prepare for the phaseout by transitioning to replacements such as ISCEON® MO99™ and monetizing their R-22 through recovery, re-use, and reclamation,” Wallace said.
Gordon McKinney, vice president and COO, ICOR Intl., agreed that, although no one knows for sure how much R-22 is still left in the pipeline, with only 22 million pounds allocated for 2015 and annual demand estimates ranging 75-90 million pounds, it’s safe to assume R-22 inventories will begin to wane soon.
He pointed out, however, that R-22 users should not proceed with the goal of completely ridding themselves of R-22 in 2015; rather, the goal should be to mitigate the expense of using up all of their R-22 in a rapid fashion.
“By implementing R-22 alternative refrigerants into their service plans, users can conserve their R-22 allocations for critical applications,” McKinney said. “For example, if a system only has a minor leak, then it makes sense to top that system off with R-22 and move on to the next call. However, if you’re installing a dry-charge R-22 system, a system has leaked its entire charge, or you’re bringing a system down for major repair, then that represents a preferred time to convert the system to an alternative.”
He noted this same strategy was used by the refrigeration sector during the phaseout of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and it proved to be very effective.
“Like the CFC phaseout, reclaimed refrigerant will help close some of the supply-demand gap for R-22, but it will be secondary to the role of the alternative refrigerants and equipment replacement,” McKinney said.
Glenn Haun, director of sales, North America, Arkema Inc., said the company is still confident that, between the inventory that’s in the pipeline and the allowances that have been granted by the EPA, there is an adequate amount of R-22 available to service the U.S.’s needs for years to come. How many years, however, is a question mark.
“That depends on a number of variables, including what the true demand is, what the conversion rate is to either changing out equipment or switching to other refrigerants, fixing equipment leaks, and so on,” Haun said.
“Arkema is committed to working with our customer base to supply Forane® 22, Forane 410A refrigerants, and our complete line of blends, including our R-22 retrofit Forane 427A,” Haun added. “We are working closely with our customers to jointly develop a long-term refrigerant-supply strategy that will allow them to carefully develop a long-term R-22 transition plan that considers all options.”
By Ron Rajecki
Publication date: 5/25/2015
The Wi-Fi® enabled thermostat is a relatively new product to the HVAC market that is already seeing great success. Wi-Fi enabled thermostats are adding additional benefits to homeowners that have not been enjoyed in the past. Depending on homeowner habits, a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat could potentially cut the cost of your next heating or cooling bill.
by Geoff Godwin | Feb. 26, 2015
- See more at: http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/upgrade-wi-fi-enabled-thermostat/#sthash.a8ZcSPi8.dpuf
When the U.S. economy took a downturn during the Great Recession, the refrain everyone heard again and again was “repair, don’t replace.” But, even as the economy has improved, some building owners and operators remain hesitant to make large capital expenditures to replace older chiller systems. In these cases, there are less expensive options available that can enable decision makers to achieve substantial efficiency upgrades by retrofitting their chillers.
“I’m hearing from customers that there are still some doubts lingering in their minds regarding the financial stability of the market, and that is prompting them to hang on to their capital,” said Robert Gray, national sales manager and offer launch manager, Schneider Electric.
Chiller retrofits can provide a solution to extend the life of existing systems while allowing owners and operators to “postpone the decision to replace an entire chiller,” said David Sylves, director of marketing, Bitzer US Inc.
“The upgrade cost is much less than the cost of a new chiller, and it may add many years to the chiller’s life,” he added.
Tom Reynolds, sales manager at ACCO Engineered Systems in Glendale, California, noted his company has retrofitted chillers for a range of clients, including telecom, office buildings, hospitality, education, and health care. Sometimes, he said, his team is called in for an emergency repair, but, in other cases, clients become interested in a retrofit after consulting with ACCO about their needs for improved efficiency and reliability.
Reasons to RetrofitNot only is the initial financial investment reduced in a retrofit, there are also significant cost savings that can also be achieved going forward. That’s because retrofit upgrades offer significant energy savings, Sylves said.
Gray has perfected the question he asks prospective clients when gauging their interest in the savings made possible by a chiller retrofit.
He asks customers the following: “Regarding your existing chiller, if I could show you a way to decrease your energy expense by as much as 30 percent, bring your existing chiller up to the peak efficiency standards of today, work with your utility company to obtain a rebate, and provide a retrofit project with an ROI [return on investment] of three years or less — all for a fraction of the cost of replacement — is this something that would interest you?”
For those who are looking to decrease the amount they spend on energy, their interest is certainly piqued. Reynolds noted the efficiency gains depend on the existing system. “It varies case-by-case,” he said, adding ACCO’s engineering department analyzes expected efficiency for each client.
Another reason owners may turn to retrofits is uncertainty about refrigerant regulations.
“Some building owners are reluctant to install a new chiller today without knowing which refrigerants will be phased out during the lifetime of their system,” Sylves said. “Consequently, they may choose to retrofit their current chiller’s compressors now and stay with R-22 in the short term, or perhaps change to R-407C or R-134a.”
Options and SolutionsWhatever their reasons, building owners and contractors can find a variety of options and solutions available in today’s market to upgrade chillers and reduce energy usage.
According to Sylves, “Bitzer has a robust retrofit upgrade program available for its dealers. Old, inefficient screw, and large, semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors of various types and brands are being replaced with high-efficiency screw compressors that dramatically reduce a chiller’s power consumption.”
He also noted Bitzer offers two series of screw compressors.
“One is optimized for systems with high condensing temps, and another series is optimized for low condensing temps,” Sylves said. “This differentiation enables our dealers to select the most energy-efficient compressor in its class for a retrofit upgrade.”
Gray highlighted Schneider Electric’s Condenser Fan Pak (CFP) as a plug-and-play solution for retrofitting air-cooled chillers. He explained it “incorporates floating high-pressure control with VFD [variable frequency drive] condenser fan operation.”
Going into more detail, Gray described how the CFP works to reduce energy usage.
“Floating high pressure takes advantage of off-design use of the chiller,” he said. “In most cases, chillers are sized at an outdoor dry bulb temperature of 95°F. Ninety-five percent of the time, the chiller operates below that outside air temperature. This means the condenser is oversized for all outdoor operating temperatures below 95°. This enables the CFP to reduce the condensing temperature through the condenser by modulating the airflow by varying the speed of the condenser fans. By reducing the condensing temperature, we float the head pressure down, which reduces the lift on the compressor. Reducing the lift on the compressor reduces the amount of work the compressor has to perform, which decreases its energy consumption.”
Retrofit ResultsBoth Gray and Sylves shared examples of applications where their solutions have been used to successfully upgrade existing chiller systems.
A six-month customer field test was conducted for an air-cooled chiller used in a typical commercial application,” said Gray. “The scheduled daily operation of the chiller was 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. During the hours of operation, the chiller was automatically switched between the original OEM controls and the Schneider Electric CFP. With each run cycle, kWh measurements were taken. The field test confirmed the CFP saved approximately 30 percent kW.”
Gray also mentioned two schools that were retrofitted with CFPs, noting the first anticipated savings of $5,000 per year, and the second, $7,000 per year — and both had applied for matching utility company rebates.
Sylves referenced a retrofit performed on two 11-story medical office buildings in California. The buildings’ existing R-22 systems were converted to R-134a, and eight high-efficiency Bitzer 150-ton screw compressors were specified as part of the conversion. Ultimately, Sylves said, the retrofit “earned a $250,000 utility rebate from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.”
These types of utility rebates are only further proof that, for those who are looking to save money on energy, a chiller retrofit may be just the answer they are seeking.
Publication date: 5/11/2015
By Kimberly Schwartz
Our Trane website is up and running, we have added thermostat install guides for the Trane stats. We have included some information on NEXIA home automation.
The most significant product change in 2015 will involve moving all split-system heat pumps in all regions to the new national heat pump efficiency minimum of 14 SEER
As the largest % of equipment sold in Arizona is still 13 seer , We could see a large jump in price in the new year.
On 01/01/2015 The amount of R-22 will drop another 20%.
At the same time R-22 Condensers will no longer be made
HCFC-22 is also referred to as R-22. It is a popular refrigerant that is commonly used in a variety of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, including:
On January 21, 2003, EPA promulgated regulations (68 FR 2820, January 21, 2003, “2003-2009 Rule”) to ensure compliance with the first reduction milestone in the HCFC phaseout: The requirement that by January 1, 2004, the United States reduce HCFC consumption to 65 percent of baseline and freeze HCFC production. In the 2003-2009 Rule, EPA established chemical-specific consumption and production baselines for HCFC-141b, HCFC-22, and HCFC-142b for the initial regulatory period ending December 31, 2009. Section 601(2) states that EPA may select “a representative calendar year” to serve as the company baseline for HCFCs. In the 2003-2009 Rule, EPA concluded that because the entities eligible for allowances had differing production and import histories, no single year was representative for all companies. Therefore, EPA assigned an individual consumption baseline year to each company by selecting its highest ODP-weighted consumption year from 1994 through 1997. EPA assigned individual production baseline years in the same manner. EPA also provided for new entrants that began importing after 1997 but before April 5, 1999, the date the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) was published. EPA took this action to ensure that small businesses that might not have been aware of the impending rulemaking would be able to continue in the HCFC market.
In the United States, an allowance is the unit of measure that controls production and consumption of ODS. EPA allocates calendar-year allowances equal to a percentage of the baseline—they are valid from January 1 to December 31 of that control period. A calendar-year allowance represents the privilege granted to a company to produce or import one kilogram (not ODP-weighted) of the specific substance. “Production allowance” and “consumption allowance” are defined at 40 CFR 82.3. To produce an HCFC for which EPA has issued allowances, an allowance holder must expend both production and consumption allowances. To import an HCFC for which EPA has issued allowances, an allowance holder must expend only consumption allowances. An allowance holder exporting HCFCs for which it has expended consumption allowances may request a refund of those consumption allowances by submitting proper documentation and receiving approval from EPA.
The 2003-2009 Rule set production and consumption baselines for the 2003-2009 regulatory period, using each company's highest “production year” or “consumption year.” The 2003-2009 Rule prohibited production and import of those HCFCs that were subject to the allowance system without the appropriate allowances (40 CFR 82.15(a),(b)). EPA set the maximum production and consumption of each HCFC by issuing allowances that are valid for a single calendar year, equal to a certain percentage of each company's baseline.  It completely phased out the production and import of HCFC-141b by granting zero percent of baseline for production and consumption in the table at 40 CFR 82.16. EPA created a petition process to allow applicants to request small amounts of HCFC-141b beyond the phaseout. For production and consumption of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b in 2003 through 2009, EPA allocated allowances at 100 percent of baseline. The complete phaseout of HCFC-141b, the allocations for HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, combined with projections for consumption of all other HCFCs, remained below the 2004 cap of 65 percent of the United States baseline.
Since EPA is implementing the phaseout on a chemical-by-chemical basis, it allocates and tracks production and consumption allowances on a kilogram basis for each chemical. Upon EPA approval, an allowance holder may transfer calendar-year allowances of one type of HCFC for calendar-year allowances of another type of HCFC, with transactions weighted according to the ODP of the chemicals involved. Pursuant to section 607 of the CAA, EPA applies an offset to each HCFC transfer by deducting 0.1 percent from the transferor's allowance balance. The offset benefits the ozone layer since it “results in greater total reductions in the production in each year of * * * class II substances than would occur in that year in the absence of such transactions” (see CAA section 607(a)).
The 2003-2009 Rule announced that EPA would allocate allowances for the 2010-2014 regulatory period in a subsequent action and that those allowances would be lower than for 2003-2009, consistent with the next stepwise reduction for HCFCs under the Montreal Protocol. EPA subsequently monitored the market to estimate servicing needs and market adjustments in the use of HCFCs, including HCFCs for which EPA had not established baselines in the 2003-2009 Rule. In the 2010-2014 Rule (74 FR 66412, December 15, 2009), EPA issued production and import allowances for HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, and other HCFCs not previously included in the allowance system, for the 2010-2014 control periods.
In the 2010-2014 Rule, EPA estimated the need for HCFC-22 during the 2010-2014 regulatory period and the percentage of that need for which it was appropriate to allocate allowances. EPA decided that the percentage of the estimated need allocated in the form of allowances should not remain constant from year to year, but rather should decline on an annual basis. For 2010, EPA allocated HCFC-22 allowances equal to 80 percent of the estimated need, concluding that reused, recycled, and reclaimed material could meet the remaining 20 percent. The percentage of estimated need for which there was no allocation, and that would therefore need to be met through recycling and reclamation, rose from 20 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2014. The intent of this approach was to foster reclamation and to ensure that the United States could meet the 2015 stepdown under the Montreal Protocol.
However, part of the 2010-2014 Rule was vacated in an August 27, 2010, decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Court) in Arkema v. EPA (618 F.3d 1, D.C. Cir. 2010). Certain allowance holders affected by the 2010-2014 Rule contended that the rule was impermissibly retroactive because in setting the baselines for the new regulatory period, EPA did not take into account certain inter-pollutant baseline transfers that petitioners had performed during the prior regulatory period. Accounting for these transfers in the 2010-2014 Rule and applying the same methodology would have resulted in different baselines and calendar-year allowances for HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b.
The Court agreed with petitioners that “the [2010-2014] Final Rule unacceptably alters transactions the EPA approved under the 2003 Rule,” (Arkema v. EPA, 618 F.3d at 3). The Court vacated the rule in part, “insofar as it operates retroactively,” and remanded to EPA “for prompt resolution,” (618 F.3d at 10). EPA's petition for rehearing was denied on January 21, 2011. EPA addressed the Court's partial vacatur as it related to 2011 in an August 5, 2011, interim final rule, “Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export,” (76 FR 47451, August 5, 2011, “2011 Interim Final Rule”). In that rule, EPA established new baselines that (1) credited the 2008 inter-pollutant trades at issue in Arkema v. EPA based on the Court's decision; (2) reflected inter-company, single-pollutant baseline transfers that occurred since the 2010-2014 Rule was signed; (3) allocated HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b allowances for 2011; (4) clarified EPA's policy on all future inter-pollutant transfers; and (5) updated company names. The HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b use restrictions and the allocation for other controlled HCFCs were not affected by the partial vacatur.
To complete its response to the Court's decision, EPA published a final rule with the same name on April 3, 2013, allocating HCFC-142b and HCFC-22 allowances for 2012-2014 (78 FR 20004, “2012-2014 Rule”). That rule reduced HCFC-22 allowances in 2012-2014 by almost 30 percent relative to the 2010-2014 Rule in order to incentivize proper handling and recovery of HCFC-22 and encourage transition to non-ODS alternatives.
On December 24, 2013, EPA published a proposed rule that would issue allowances for HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, HCFC-123, and HCFC-124 for the 2015-2019 regulatory period (78 FR 78071, “2015-2019 Proposed Rule”). Today's action finalizes the HCFC allowance allocations for those years based on the options presented in the 2015-2019 Proposed Rule and comments submitted to EPA. For more information on the history of the HCFC phaseout and applicable rulemakings, see: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/classtwo.html.
By starting the phase down at 10,000MT in 2015, EPA is trying to address the concerns about over-supply in existing inventories, while encouraging transition, reclamation, and proper refrigerant management, and sending a signal to industry that allocations will be dropping. The 2015 allocation amount is about 13,000MT less than the 2014 allocation.
The Final Rule also addresses the issue of “Dry-shipped” condensing units that are manufactured for sale as a system replacement part. In the request for comments to this rule, EPA sough quantifiable information on the number of dry-shipped condensing units were being shipped, whether they are being used as a repair instead of a compressor or motor replacement, and whether and to what extent condensing unit replacements extend the life of an existing system. EPA did not receive substantive comments to these questions, but intends to survey a limited number of industry stakeholders to collect additional data.
In the Final Rule, the EPA mentions a pending petition submitted by an industry trade group to extend the Section 608 program rules to HFC refrigerants. In their response to comments filed on this topic (which is outside the scope of this rule), the Final Rule noted, “EPA is actively considering the merits and environmental benefits of this petition under a separate process.”