R22 is a component that was previously used in air conditioning equipment. In 2003 a ban was passed which banned all hydro-fluorocarbon’s being used in commercial air conditioning equipment. Therefore this ozone depleting substance has been slowly phased out over the last decade. What action do you need to take if your air conditioning machine runs on R22? Plus what are the consequences of not replacing your R22 air conditioning unit.
The Time-line of the R22 Phase Out
– In January 2010, the used of virgin R22 and maintenance of the equipment was banned. It was also made unlawful to buy the substance in bulk to stockpile for future use.
– On December 2014 it became illegal to service, repair and refill an air conditioning machine that runs on R22.
So what options do you have if your air conditioning unit runs on R22?
· Do not take any action and continue to operate the same equipment
· Have your equipment modified so that it can be topped up with a different type of refrigerant
· Replace your old units for newer air conditioning units
Do not take any action
Although it sounds like R22 will be completely phased out by now and illegal to use in 2015, this is not really the case. If the system is operating satisfactorily then there is no urgent need to replace an existing installation. However the risk of the air conditioning unit failing is going to increase as the years go by. It is now also illegal to top up your machine with any type of R22, whether this is recycled or not.
Modify your existing equipment to accept other refrigerants
R22 can be replaced with a few other alternatives refrigerants. However this is only a short term fix. Air conditioning machines may have to be altered. Parts to do this can be difficult and costly to source. It is inevitable that your air conditioning units will have to be replaced at some point, which brings us to the final option.
Replace all of the equipment with new units
You could replace your R22-based air conditioning equipment with a new ozone-friendly system.
This is probably the best option as most R22 air conditioning systems are going to be at least 10 years old. Therefore it is likely that these units are not as efficient as they used to be. Older units are likely to be powered by obsolete fixed-speed compressor technology. Newer units are powered by a modern, digital inverter-controlled system will bring significant immediate energy savings of up to 50%. This means you may actually be saving money by updating your air conditioning units.
For owners or operators who are concerned about meeting their responsibilities, Breeze Installations can offer a wide range of technical expertise and commercial guidance. We can help you modify or replace your R22 air conditioning units to meet the R22 phase out rules.