Is There a Hole In The Ozone Protocol?

The Montreal Protocol has dealt a death blow to R22 equipment, right? Maybe not.

“I just committed to purchasing the Nitrogen Charged R22 compatible condensing units,” proclaimed a contractor on the Service Roundtable.

He added, “I was assured by the TM that the units are street legal with full warranty (5 years) and a nitrogen charge in place of R22.”

Anyone who uses the Service Roundtable is accustomed to hearing about things first (it’s why most manufacturers and many distributors quietly monitor the conversation), but this was a bombshell. “How?” is the question many have asked.

So far, we’ve heard crickets from the manufacturers, but a contractor on the Service Roundtable noted that R22 refrigeration skids have continued to ship.

“We still buy and install mid-temp refrigeration skids that are complete with compressor, condenser, condenser fan, and controls that are filled with mineral oil and ready to be evacuated and charged with R-22,” he explained. “I personally have not looked at the production date on any of these skids, but was told by our supplier they are brand new and not old stock.”

We’ve received reports that two manufacturers are shipping R22 product and were informed that another would soon join them.

If you wonder why, that’s easy. Just look at the jump in compressor replacements this summer (try double). In a rush to force higher efficiencies on the public, government regulators may have created an environment of perpetual repair. Cash strapped homeowners facing the cost of a full system replacement are opting for lower cost compressor, fan, and coil replacements. Unitary manufacturers largely miss out on parts replacements, but can cash in on condensing unit replacements. Once one of them finds a loophole, competitive pressure will push the others to follow suit.

Are you seeing R22 product in your market? Will you sell it, if available? What do you think about it? Send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll report what I learn in the next CB Hotmail. Let me know if I can attribute your comments. Otherwise, I’ll keep them anonymous.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable. Contractors join for $50 a month to gain access to a network of top contractors and consultants, to benefit from a substantial library of existing sales, marketing, and business management material, and to enjoy substantial rebates from the Roundtable Rewards buying group, which is free for members. Learn more by calling 877.262.3341 or visit

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