European Union Moving Towards Phaseout of HFCs

It seems that the Europeans Union does everything  first before the United States lately. Up until about five years ago nobody in America had heard of Diesel Exhaust Fluid for diesel applications.  Europe had been using Diesel Exhaust Fluid for years and it finally came to America due to government mandate.

Why am I bringing up Diesel Exhaust? Well, as I said before Europe is the place to watch when it comes to global climate laws and changes. They set the standard across the world and the rest of the countries follow suit, including the United States.

Well, it was announced this fall that the EU would be progressively phasing out HFC refrigerants due to the Global Warming damage that they cause to the world. They already announced specific production quotas and dates on when the phase-outs will begin.

2017 Is the Year to Watch

EU HFC 2017
EU plans to begin phaseout of HFCs in 2017

The proposed year to begin phase out of HFCs is 2017 for article five countries and 2019 for non-article five countries.  If you are reading this blog you are most likely an article five country. Article fives are basically any of the first world countries around the world such as United States, EU countries, Australia, etc.

So, it’s safe to say that in 2017 the price of your HFC refrigerants will be going up. Now, you should keep in mind that they aren’t just flipping a switch from on to off. It is a progressive phase out usually over five to ten years. It is done this way so that there isn’t a widespread shortage of refrigerant and so that it gives enough time for manufacturers, contractors/installers, and consumers to switch over to the new replacement.

What types of Refrigerant are affected?

HFCs include R-134A, R-410A, R-404A, and many more types.
HFCs include R-134A, R-410A, R-404A, and many more types.

There are numerous HFC refrigerants on the market right now so I won’t go over every single one that is out there. Instead I will do a quick overview of the most popular types of HFC refrigerants on the market today.

R-134A – This is the primary application for ALL automotive. Rather it be a station wagon or a heavy duty semi-truck they both use R-134A Refrigerant.

R-410A – Just as R-134A is the primary for automotive R-410A is now the primary for all home and commercial HVAC units. It is also know as Puron in the industry and is still relatively new it only really begin to pick up popularity in 2010 with the ban of R-22 Refrigerant.

R-404A – This isn’t as common as the above two refrigerants but it is still worth mentioning. It’s primary use is in grocery store freezers and refrigerated trucks/vehicles.

Can you say Irony?

The best part about this whole new phaseout of the HFC refrigerant is that HFCs were invented by refrigerant manufacturers as a replacement for the O-Zone depleting CFC refrigerants primarily know as R-12 and R-22.

So, they invented this new fancy refrigerant only to find out that it actually causes a massive global warming spike. But… hey at-least our O-Zone is safe now! What do you bet when they come out with the new replacement for HFCs that in ten years there will be something wrong with this one as well?