RSES- Refrigerant Reclamation: What does it mean and why it is more important than ever before

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 1, 2023 – In December 2020, the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) was passed by Congress. The act authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations over commonly used HFC refrigerants to address the challenge of climate change. In response, on Sept. 23, 2021, the EPA issues its final rule establishing the allowance allocation and trading program, phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) use by 85% in the United States by 2036.

The entire HVACR industry and just about every facet of a contractor’s business is impacted by the new EPA rule including supply of refrigerant, equipment availability, cylinder type, and increased record keeping for both virgin and recovered refrigerant.

Unlike prior phasedowns, the AIM Act addresses refrigerant and equipment availability through sector based regulations. Although a 10% reduction in the overall availability of HFCs took place in 2022 and 2023, the majority of HVACR equipment being sold in those years and expected to be sold in 2024, use HFCs. Thus the installed base of HFC equipment has continued to grow, while the availability of HFCs has already started to decline.

In 2024 the next reduction takes place and HFC production will be reduced by 40% of the baseline. However, the equipment requiring HFCs continue to be sold, and the installed base continues to need servicing. This is where reclaimed refrigerant is anticipated to help bridge the gap in supply and demand. Reclamation of HFCs, and their ultimate reuse, is crucial to support the installed base during the transition to next generation HFOs.

To learn more about the growing importance of reclamation and how Hudson can help, click here.

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