• The Refrigerant Report, May 2010

    May 18, 2010
    This month’s refrigerant executive commentary is provided by Gordon McKinney, vice president/chief operating officer, ICOR International, Indianapolis, IN.

    Over the last two years the HVACR industry has faced a number of serious challenges. With new construction at a stand still and equipment owners hesitant to even repair their systems at times let alone replace them, it has been a long and lean period for everyone associated with this business.

    But what has complicated matters even further has been the untimely phase-out of R-22 designed equipment and subsequent increase in new equipment and service costs. With the federal mandate in place for many years there was no turning back on the new regulations and therefore January 1st of this year we ushered in a new era in heat transfer.

    Today, users and equipment owners are becoming acclimated to using equipment designed for use with new refrigerants like R410A, R407C and R422B (NU-22B®). These non-ozone depleting HFC substitutes have been gaining in acceptance for many years now and even though nothing has proven to be a perfect match for R-22, everyone must agree they are getting the job done. Most people believe we have seen the worst of the recession and that ACR equipment owners have accepted the fact that heat transfer is going to be a larger line item from here on.

    But what most people in and outside the HVACR industry are unaware of is how the “new” HFC regulations being developed by E.P.A. could increase costs even further.

    Since nearly everyone today is impacted in one way or another by the cost of providing heat transfer, I highly recommend that everyone follow these new global warming regulations carefully and let your voice be heard.

    When gasoline prices became too high of a line item, scores of people changed their habits and ultimately reduced their consumption. So now the big question is, will the cost of heat transfer have the same effect on consumers?