We’re reaching the point where it is easier to list the things the Biden administration isn’t doing in the name of fighting climate change. One such Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule stands out because it will be bad news for anyone with a home air conditioner with no environmental gain to show for it.
The new rule is not all President Joe Biden’s fault, because the law authorizing this mischief was passed during December’s lame duck session of Congress. Slipped into the massive, must-pass spending/COVID relief bill were provisions cracking down on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on the grounds that they are greenhouse gases. HFCs are the class of refrigerants currently used in most types of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. It includes one called R-410A, an HFC blend used in the majority of residential central air conditioners as well as many window units.
The production quotas for HFCs will start in 2022 and get progressively more stringent in the years afterwards. Thus, when homeowners must replenish R-410A lost from a leak, which happens to millions of them every summer, they will very likely have to pay more for it.
The EPA has just released its proposed rationing scheme for HFCs, and the details of the agency’s final version will ultimately determine how steep a price hike we face.
Of course, no piece of environmental legislation is complete without a petition process to make its provisions even more restrictive, and EPA has already been hit with five of them on HFCs. They include proposals to ban R-410A in new central air conditioning systems by January 1, 2025. Who are these petitioners? Manufacturers and environmental activist groups.
For manufacturers, the current systems designed to use R-410A are the lowest cost option on the market, thus several brands would be happy to see them outlawed in favor of pricier models using heavily-hyped new “green” refrigerants. In addition, some of the new refrigerants are classified as mildly flammable, which might give some consumers reason to avoid making the switch – unless they have no choice.
Read the full article at Inside Sources.