R-22 phaseout regulations HVAC technicians need to know for 2018
The Clean Air Act requires the phaseout of R-22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) compound that contains ozone-depleting chlorine. R-22 is also known as HCFC-22 and Freon. Manufacturing of HVAC systems using R-22 has already been phased out, and the production of R-22 itself will cease in 2020.
Section 608 of the Clean Air Act prohibits the knowing release of refrigerant during the maintenance, service, repair, or disposal of air-conditioning (AC) and refrigeration equipment. The EPA requires proper refrigerant management practices by technicians, owners and operators of refrigeration and AC systems, and others.
New regulations take effect for HVAC technicians on January 1, 2018, which I’ve summarized below:
Technician CertificationCurrently, technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified. Starting on January 1, 2018, this requirement will also apply to appliances containing most substitute refrigerants, including HFCs.
Technicians must:• Pass a certification exam offered by an approved technician certification program in order to maintain, service, repair, or dispose of appliances containing ODS or substitute refrigerants.• Keep a copy of their certificate at their place of business.• Maintain a copy of their certificate until three years after no longer operating as a technician.
Sales RestrictionThe sale of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and substitute refrigerant is restricted to certified technicians.
New Recordkeeping for Appliances with 5 - 50 Pounds of RefrigerantTechnicians who dispose of mid-sized appliances must keep records of:• The location, date, and type of refrigerant recovered for each disposed appliance;• The quantity and type of refrigerant recovered from appliances each month; and• The quantity and type of refrigerant transferred for reclamation or destruction, along with transfer information.
Maintenance, Servicing, Repair, and DisposalTechnicians must evacuate ODS or substitute refrigerants before opening or disposing of appliances to the evacuation levels specified in the regulations using certified recovery and/or recycling equipment.