Northeast HVAC News Guest Column
VP of Vitt Heating & Air
Conditioning Co., Inc. Offers Insight Into EPAís R-22 Phaseout.
response to the EPA's proposed final phaseout of R-22, a key
refrigerant used in HVAC systems, Jeffrey Vitt of Vitt Heating &
Air Conditioning Co., Inc. explains how his industry will be
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling for
the gradual phasing out of R-22 production, with production
allowances gradually decreasing from now until reaching 0 in
R-22, whose full name is virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22,
is a refrigerant traditionally used in heating, ventilating and
air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It's also a highly-powerful
greenhouse gas, which is why many developed nations are
gradually phasing it out in pursuit of alternative refrigerants.
According to The News (12/30/2013), the EPA's phaseout timeline
establishes an R-22 production allowance of 30 million pounds in
2015, 24 million pounds in 2016, 18 million pounds in 2017, 12
million pounds in 2018, 6 million pounds in 2019 and eventually
zero in 2020.
Jeffrey Vitt, Vice President of Vitt Heating & Air Conditioning
Co., Inc., says the EPA's phaseout timeline will have drastic
impacts on the HVAC industry as a whole due to its long-time
reliance on the refrigerant.
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"A large majority of
HVAC systems utilize that type of refrigerant," Vitt says. "It has
been widely used for over 50 years, so to have zero R-22 all of a
sudden would drive the cost of the remaining R-22 through the roof."
However, Vitt says his company has been working toward adapting to
alternative refrigerants for a long time, meaning Vitt Heating &
Cooling plans on being prepared for the R-22 phaseout.
"For the last 10 years, we have been instructing customers to go
with the new environmentally-friendly refrigerant," Vitt says. "New
refrigerant is lower in cost, because the supply is plentiful."
For HVAC customers who still have systems that use R-22, Vitt
recommends getting a full replacement of their heating and cooling
systems sooner rather than later.
"Ultimately, the best option long term for the customer who has a
system that leaks refrigerant is to upgrade their system," he says.
"It will save them money in the long run, as they won't have the
inflated cost of R-22, as well as the savings on utilities they'll
enjoy by utilizing more energy-efficient products. We also offer
replacement refrigerants for units that utilize R-22, but they
affect the capacity of the units slightly. In most cases, this won't
be a problem, but the customer should be aware either way."
About Vitt Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc.
Vitt Heating & Air Conditioning has been in business since 1954,
providing the St. Louis community with heating and air services ever
since. Always remember that itís never to early to be thinking about
the next season and getting a St. Louis furnace repair done. For
more information, please visit