ACHRNews – Get Ready for 40% Cut in HFC Production in 2024

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 4, 2023 – As most already know, the AIM Act, which passed in December 2020, will reduce HFC refrigerant production by 85% by 2036. The initial reduction began last year with a 10% reduction in HFC production, but next year there will be an additional 30% cut, which will significantly impact the HVACR industry. In fact, experts are predicting that the steep reduction could result in shortages of popular refrigerants such as R-410A and R-134a, as well as a sharp increase in refrigerant prices.

Not surprisingly, the large cut in HFC production in 2024 could profoundly affect HVACR contractors, so in order to minimize disruptions in this shifting landscape, it is crucial to prepare now. The AIM Act accelerated the phasedown of virgin HFCs, and as a result, there was little time for the HVACR industry as a whole to prepare for the steep stepdown in 2024, said Kate Houghton, vice president of sales and marketing at Hudson Technologies.

“This means contractors will likely be affected in several ways: limited access to certain high-GWP refrigerants such as R-404A, allocations of refrigerants based on past buying patterns from suppliers, and increased pricing and general uncertainty in the marketplace,” she said. “All of these could affect HVACR contractors in their daily business and cause disruption.”

Still, not enough refrigerant is being recovered and reclaimed. Based on data released by the EPA, less than 2% of HFCs are recovered and reclaimed on an annual basis, said Houghton. That’s because until recently, contractors may have been more focused on the recovery of R-22 and CFCs, as these have been the most valuable refrigerants.

“Recently, recovered HFCs have dramatically increased in value,” she said. “Increased focus on HFC recovery will be needed to bridge the expected shortfall in virgin HFC availability in 2024 and beyond. Moreover, with more regulatory requirements demanding their use, reclaimed refrigerants will become more valuable.”

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