Paper's the Past: HVAC/R Industry Trends and How They Affect You!

March 8, 2019 / by Joel Punausuia posted in Announcements, Facilities Management, HVAC/R, Industry Insights, HVAC News Roundups, Refrigerant Management, performance

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The world of refrigerants is “cool” yet complex with an overwhelming amount of information out there to discomfort you more than an EPA regulator’s call. This can lead to a lot of uncertainty but worry not! The HVAC/R industry is forecasted to grow over 6% by 2023 with more attention being paid to regulation and the adaptation of technology to the diverse needs around the world. While this is exciting (and we’re excited about it), there may be some confusion amongst owners and technicians on how these changes will affect them. Well you lucked out, so read on as we explore this brave new world.

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The 15 Billion Ton Problem: The U.S. Refrigerant Recycling Market Fails to Stop Leaks

February 25, 2019 / by Ted Atwood and Joel Punausuia posted in Announcements, Facilities Management, HVAC/R, Industry Insights, HVAC News Roundups, Refrigerant Management, performance


Recently the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) published a white paper titled “Search, Reuse and Destroy: How States Can Take the Lead on the 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem.” 


The paper very thoroughly explains the industry challenges related to capturing the massive stockpiles of refrigerant installed in equipment all over the globe (and here at home as well). It also provides some global success stories and potential insight on how we might solve the problem that we all thought the Montreal Protocol was supposed to be fixing. It is worth noting that the team at EIA gathered very insightful perspectives on the issues, it is nothing short of brilliant. 

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The Fine Line Between Reckless and Responsible

February 15, 2019 / by Joel Punausuia posted in Facilities Management, HVAC/R, Industry Insights, Refrigerant Compliance, Refrigerant Management, compliance, epa 608, performance

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A lapsed car registration effects everyone  no matter what you drive, whether it is a gas guzzler producing more smog than a Beijing city street or an emissions-free electric vehicle. You can’t go back to the gas station and blame them because you failed to take care of your car. It wasn’t the gas that caused a failure but owner neglect. The same applies to your HVAC/R units, their owners and the contractors that service them. Do you know what you’re responsible for?


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Are you ready for the new HVAC/R regulations that go into effect in 3 weeks?

December 13, 2018 / by Ted Atwood posted in Announcements, Industry Insights, Refrigerant Compliance, Refrigerant Management


The most sweeping changes to HVAC/R regulations in 2 decades go into effect in less than 30 days. Yes, you have less than 3 weeks because, on January 1st, the last of 3 changes to EPA (Federal) regulations go into effect

If you are wondering who this will affect? The Answer is every commercial HVAC/R owner in the USA.

We just completed a one-month review of more than 1000 service tickets, and it looks like no one is ready for the changes. After 50 phone interviews with the dispatch teams that review the tickets and then generate the invoices, it was apparent that work is still needed to be ready for the significant changes. An overwhelming number of people were unaware of the significance and details of the changes. So here are the three things that were missing from every service ticket:

1. None of the leak rate data (neither the compounded values (required) or the base leak rate) were on any tickets
2. Missing service dates (minimum of 4, repair and leak inspection are no longer acceptable) for each refrigerant addition, at most only 2 service event dates were recorded
3. Improper recording or listing of asset details – it’s not enough to say you worked on RTU1

In an industry that relies almost exclusively on invoices as the primary communication tool between service providers and system owners/manager, the invoice is not living up to the job needed for compliance. We have two choices:

1. Invoices need to change to accommodate the required data – the traditional invoice is no longer enough to meet regulatory requirements.
2. Maintenance teams need to a tool that guides their performance, so they operate within the compliance boundaries

Work Order management, CMMS or invoice products are not able to measure up, they lack.

1. Guidance that directs activity based on refrigerant type, the asset and the work being performed
2. Responsiveness to modify outcomes or provide alerts if an action or event occurs that can push you into violation
3. Structured data inputs that are rigid enough to deliver compliance but flexible enough to accommodate the work environment.

Recording labor and materials on an invoice is no longer adequate because you may record an event adequately only to learn later that the record you documented clearly thrusts you into violation of the regulation.

As an example. If you add gas to a system on June 1st and then again on September 1st, then the EPA expects you to reference the old leak rate from June 1 on the September 1 invoice and then between the two events, you would be expected to document at least 8 touch points on the asset to prove the leak was fixed and they want this to be accessible at all times.

New regulations clearly define who is responsible for providing the records, keeping the records and submitting the records to the EPA, so having a plan that meets these new requirements is key to success.

The EPA has steadily been releasing updates and modifications to requirements that affect the how, when, where as well as the reasons, reporting and record keeping for using refrigerant but they have never mandated that service techs return for new training. The skilled service workforce is struggling to keep pace with the repair needs in the market, but two issues are not helping this process:

1. No retraining is required when the EPA releases significant changes to the regulations. Even California does not require any training on regulations, they rely on the Federal government to provide guidance on the Training. Although your technician is skilled in maintenance, she/he likely doesn’t know anything about the new regulations.
2. EPA does not sponsor, suggest or even provide guidance on training for Equipment owners, managers or their staff. So, the only training available is the training needed to do field service work, and this does not directly apply to their jobs.

In the early days of compliance, the EPA had a straightforward set of regulations and an allowable leak rate that was so high that today refrigerant emissions are 300% higher (2018) than they were when the regulations first went into place (1994). System allowable leak rates vary by equipment type, but regardless of the type of system, the documentation is the same for most systems.

The changes that go into place in 3 weeks have been published for nearly 3 years, and they have been in development for about 10 years (we have been writing about them for 3 years). Our industry needs more people and talent to fill in the employment gap that exists all across the country, but we can work together and relieve some of the strain, reduce leaks which will ultimately lead to better performance. We just can’t do it the way we have been doing things for the last 5 decades, we need a new path forward, and the tools are available to all of us.

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5 Reasons Why Your HVAC Invoice Is Overrated

August 8, 2018 / by Elizabeth Ortlieb posted in Facilities Management, HVAC/R Software, Industry Insights


If you rely on HVAC invoices 📝 for insights on your equipment, you may find it difficult to respond to changing regulatory requirements and manage risk effectively.

In fact, your HVAC invoice is overrated. Here's why: 

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Welcome to The Standard Drift! 

The no. 1 blog from the no. 1 solution for the no. 1 crisis. Your destination for the latest updates on HVAC refrigerant management and compliance.

Written with you in mind, we’re a climate-conscious crowdsourced environmental management software specializing in compliance and performance. Enjoy and comply!