Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency, The R 22 Refrigerant Loophole, and How It Could Save YOU Some Money.

Legal Loopholes, and Air Conditioning.

In the past on this site in my web pages, or "hubs" concerning heating and air conditioning equipment I've reported what I knew to be true concerning the fact of the matter that the dominant refrigerant used in a home's air conditioning equipment, refrigerant R 22, was being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency due to the fact that the R 22 refrigerant is a chlorofluorocarbon, contains chlorine, and is altogether damaging to the environment, and helps to accelerate climate change by destroying the ozone layer that protects the Earth from the Sun's rays. Everything I've ever said about this has been true to the spirit of the laws that our United State's government put into place through the Environmental Protection Agency. I own a "technician type universal" chlorofluorocarbon license through the Environmental Protection Agency - so I damn sure should know what it is that I'm talking about, and I do.

The Environmental Protection Agency.

The "Spirit" Of The Law Concerning R 22 Refrigerant.

What do you mean about "the spirit of the law?"
What I mean is this, the laws phasing out refrigerant 22 had a purpose, and that purpose was to end the use of R 22 in favor of the more environmentally friendly refrigerant 401A (R 410A), and though this law's intentions and purposes would be expensive for the ordinary American home or business owner, the law isn't a bad thing at all, and I say that because refrigerant 410A is a refrigerant with greater enthalpy than refrigerant 22.
"What do you mean when you say that refrigerant 410a has greater enthalpy than refrigerant 22 does?"
What I mean by that is that refrigerant 410A has the ability to remove more heat per ounce of refrigerant than does refrigerant 22 - so 410A is a more energy efficient refrigerant to use, and of course, it contains no chlorine, and is not a chlorofluorocarbon, and does no damage to the ozone layer.
The Law in Question went into effect on January 1, 2010, and the spirit of that law was to end the production of air conditioning equipment that contained AND operated using refrigerant 22, a chlorofluorocarbon gas that damages the ozone layer. The spirit of that law, however, has been defeated by the letter of that law.

Refrigerant 22 and Refrigerant 410a

Defeating The Spirit Of The Law With The Letter Of The Law.

"So What Happened?"
Somewhere in the wording of the law that should have ended the production of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment that contained and used the environmentally dangerous, but very prevalent refrigerant 22 was a loophole that was either put there purposely, or that a lawyer found, and manufacturers are exploiting. Something was written that said basically that as of 1 January 2010, no more equipment shall be shipped that contains refrigerant 22.
So basically, they still make r 22 equipment, and no matter what your hvac company tells you, you can still get r 22 equipment. If someone tells you that you can not get this equipment - then they are either straight up lying to you, or they just haven't found out about the loophole yet. R 22 air conditioning equipment is still being manufactured, but it is now legally shipped containing nitrogen instead of being pre charged with r 22. Welcome to America, the home of the Lawyers.
If you do not know, then any condenser shipped in the United States is just customarily pre - charged with refrigerant. An air handler with a refrigerant coil is NOT shipped with a refrigerant charge in it, and neither is a refrigerant coil that is sold separately - those are shipped charged with nitrogen, and of course the nitrogen charge is simply there to be released, and when it is released, this proves to the contractor that the equipment that he bought does not have a factory leak in it.
Now, this loophole exists, and is most certainly being used. I told the contractor that I work for about it - he had not a clue as to the existence of such a thing, and that it was, in fact, being exploited. I don't know if this was intended to be some sort of secret, or what. You'd think that my boss would get a phone call from some of his buddies at various Dallas, Texas supply houses to let him know about this thing - but that never happened.
My father runs the maintenance department of a school district, and my father told me about this. I've no idea how he found out about it, but I suspect that there are still tons of contractors out there that do not know about this at all. I'm positive that most homeowners do not know about the r 22 loophole, but they might like to know about it, and this is why this article exists. Having said all of that - I still believe, no, I KNOW that r 410a is a better refrigerant for anyone to be using for a residential or business application so far as air conditioning is concerned.
"Please clarify why this is important to a homeowner for me."
Sure thing! R 22 air conditioning equipment can't be mixed and matched with R 410a air conditioning equipment very often, and the only way that it ever can be mixed and matched is when an expansion device is changed out on a system where a new indoor coil is present, and a new 410a condenser is being installed. To make a long story short, this loophole could save some homeowners some serious dollars if they and their contractor both know about it.

The Scroll Compressor Is TRASH.


I simply can not say if what is being done here is ethical or not. I don't approve of it. I have no idea if the loophole that does exists was intentional, or something that some lawyer had seen in the law, and then manufacturers of hvac equipment exploited. Regardless of the production of refrigerant 22 equipment, the actual refrigerant 22 will no longer be produced at all as of January 1, 2020.
Here's what I do know for an absolute fact: Whether new heating and air conditioning equipment uses refrigerant 22, or refrigerant 410a matters very little, and this is because modern scroll compressor technology is trash technology, and scroll compressors never last more than fifteen years in residential applications. I'm seeing scroll compressors die in ten years and even less, more and more often.

Essential Knowledge NOT Explained in The Following Video

The following video has some official looking people explaining why it is that refrigerant 22 is being phased out. They do some talking about this, and then they start alluding to refrigerant 22 replacements, and the oils that are used to lubricate compressors. What they don't tell you and what everyone in the industry does know is that mineral oil used to lubricate a refrigerant 22 compressor is something that absolutely CAN NOT mix with the POE oil used to lubricate a refrigerant 410a compressor, and this is exactly why refrigerant 22 systems can't be "mixed and matched" with refrigerant 410a systems.


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