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About the phase-out | Phase-out schedule
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The Hazards of Using Hydrocarbon Refrigerants in Residential and Commercial Air Conditioning

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HCFC Phase-out

This following has been provided by The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) to offer information to industry members, equipment owners and the public on the phase-out of HCFC refrigerants and its impact on refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the earth's ozone layer and phase-out the production and importation of ozone-depleting substances, eliminated the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in developed countries on December 31, 1995. As a next step in this process, Canada and other developed nations are currently moving forward with regulatory plans to eliminate the use of CFCs and dispose of the surplus inventories that remain in use.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are also ozone-depleting substances and, under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the production and consumption of HCFCs will be phased out in developed countries over the next 20 years. HCFCs are used extensively in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, the most common being R-22.

HCFC Alert: Montreal Protocol Parties Accelerate Phaseout of HCFCs

In September of 2007, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to accelerate the phaseout schedule for HCFCs in developed countries including Canada. The Parties agreed to reduce HCFC consumption and production between 2010 and 2015 from 65% to 75% which restricts by approximately 20% the amount of HCFCs that would have been available between 2010 and 2015.

Environment Canada is currently conducting consultation on these proposed changes to the ODS regulations in Canada and have indicated the changes to the Regulations will be completed sometime in 2009. Until that time, the regulations noted on this webpage are still in effect.

More than 95% of commercial and residential air conditioning units and more than 50% of commercial refrigeration equipment in Canada operate on HCFC refrigerants (primarily R-22). Many commercial refrigeration units were converted to HCFCs from CFCs. By January 1, 2010, 65% of HCFC refrigerants currently imported into and manufactured in Canada on an annual basis will be eliminated from the supply chain and no HCFC-22 (R-22) equipment will be manufactured in or imported into Canada. These important environmental steps could create significant service and maintenance issues for the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) industry and their customers.

The challenge for the RAC industry and equipment owners is to prepare for the orderly move from HCFC refrigerants to the many alternatives offered in the refrigeration marketplace. This is becoming more important when the typical life cycle of 10 to 30 years for HCFC equipment is taken into consideration. Based on these life cycle timeframes and the phase-out schedule for HCFCs, industry members and their customers need to be aware of the facts on the HCFC phase-out and the alternatives available when planning for future refrigeration and air conditioning equipment needs.