As of January 1, 2020, virgin R-22 will be illegal to produce or import in the United States. What does this mean for you, your business, and more importantly, your customers? For starters, it doe
s not mean refrigerant will be unavailable, unaffordable, or illegal to use. After January 1, it means contractors who service R-22 will have to rely on existing stocks of virgin refrigerant or use reclaimed refrigerant. These stocks of R-22 should be readily available and affordable for several years to come.
False R-22 Claims
There are many contractors who are trying to persuade customers into replacing their R-22 system even if they're working properly. These contractors are also pushing false information that R-22 will be illegal or very expensive which again leads to them suggesting an R-410A or other system.
It doesn't help that many local news outlets are also promoting misinformation to consumers saying that after January 1, they'll need to spend a good chunk of change because R-22 will be illegal to obtain. Other rumors that are being promoted are that homeowners should just bite the bullet and replace their entire system even if it sets them back thousands of dollars.
Some contractors are loving the misinformation being promoted because it's scaring customers into buying a new cooling system. While some may think that's a positive, the industry already struggles when it comes to establishing itself as honest and trustworthy. Promoting this misinformation isn't a good business practice.
The ACCA released a statement saying there will be enough R-22 stockpiled and reclaimed to allow for a smooth transition. They also stated that refrigerant manufacturer, Arkema, estimates that there is a sufficient reserve of R-22 to serve the market for at least the next five years.
Where You Come In
It's important for you to let customers know the truth. Let customers know that although R-22 is being phased out, it doesn't mean you can't work on their system, replace their R-22, or replace their system. Many contractors have stated that they're training their technicians to be up front with their customers. If customers are ready to change their systems, they're there to help. If they're looking for a repair, they're happy to help as well. This type of honesty and dependability increases their reputation and trust with their customers.
By fully disclosing information, your customers will receive a greater benefit from you and what you can provide them. Fully explain the situation to your customers and discuss the pros and cons of replacing a unit, even though the majority of customers will wait until there is failure of a leak that would require an expensive repair. It's important to explain the facts and let your customer decide.
As it stands, R-22 is still accessible and relatively inexpensive to obtain. In fact, the cost of R-22 has decreased for some over the past year. Be sure to make your customers fully aware of their options when it comes to R-22. It'll pay larger dividends in the long run for you!