As of March 23rd, new tariffs were officially leveled at imported steel and aluminum. While these tariffs were primarily aimed at China, their impact has sent shockwaves through a variety of industries. However, a handful of countries were given exemptions from the 25 percent tariff on steel and the 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Canada and Mexico were granted exemptions while the European Union, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea were given temporary exemptions from the tariffs.
R-22 Freon (also called HCFC-22 Freon) is known to add to the depletion of the ozone layer. As such, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been restricting its use as of late with the intent of 100% phase-out by 2020. But what does this mean for you? Well, if you have an older HVAC unit, quite a lot, actually. Older AC units use R-22 as their refrigerant and if these systems require a repair or additional refrigerant in the next few years (or after 2020), it will be increasingly difficult to come by.
Chlorodifluoromethane, is a hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and often referred to as R-22. This colorless gas is commonly used as a refrigerant in many AC systems and now faces a gradual phasing out of use due to its ozone depleting potential. The Montreal Protocol of 1987 instituted a slow phase out of R-22 and the United States pledged its participation in the eventual elimination of the refrigerant. January 1, 2015 saw the US reduce its use of HCFCs by 90% and January 1, 2030 will see the complete eradication of the chemical’s use.
If homeowners purchased a high-efficiency central air conditioner after January 1, 2016 or intend to do so before December 31, 2016, they are eligible for a new round of energy tax credits. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 retroactively extended 25C Residential Tax Credits that had previously expired at the close of 2014 through to the end of 2016. However, not all energy-efficient systems are created equal. The new Federal tax guidelines for these energy credits have a number of requirements and implications that homeowners must consider.