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ACCA: 'Easy does it' on Refrigerant Changeouts

Feb. 14, 2018
ACCA leadership want HVACR contractors to know that the transition to new refrigerants, including flammable products, must not be done hastily.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) released the following statement on January 29, regarding the D.C. Court of Appeals January 26, 2018 decision to reject a petition for an en banc review of an earlier ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not ban certain refrigerants under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act.

“ACCA believes that the transitions to new refrigerants, including flammable products, must not be done hastily,” said Glenn Hourahan, ACCA senior vice president for technical policy. “The EPA states that half of all HVAC systems in the U.S. are not installed correctly, and we know this field problem can contribute to refrigerant leaks. Professional HVACR contractors recognize addressing installation problems is paramount to safely transitioning to new products, including flammable refrigerants.”

Hourahan continued, “ACCA encourages the HVACR industry, policy makers, and environmentalists to collectively promote sound installation and maintenance practices that are critical to minimizing refrigerant leaks and for protecting technicians and consumers.”

In August 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA could not use Section 612 of the Clean Air Act to ban the use of refrigerants, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), with high global warming potential. The August 2017 ruling struck down an Obama Administration executive order that restricted manufacturers from producing certain HFC products. According to the Court, Section 612 was designed to address ozone depleting substances.