Impacts of the R22 ban on refrigeration and air conditioning systems
R22 is a refrigerant gas that falls under the category of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), and it is used in air conditioning, heat pump and refrigeration systems across the world. However, from 2015, the use of HCFCs will become illegal, which will create significant ramifications for the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.
In fact, since 2004 R22 has not been allowed in new air conditioning systems since 2004, but existing machines did not fall under the remit of this legislation until 2010. When this legislation was introduced, it affected the use of new or ‘virgin’ R22 refrigerants, allowing only for the use of reclaimed R22 from decommissioned systems. As a result of this, the availability of R22 depleted quickly as the supply of decommissioned R22 refrigerants was claimed quickly. Now that existing machines are affected and R22 is banned entirely, there are now steps that owners of affected machines must take. Possible solutions include:
Replace the Unit
One course of action to take would be to replace the unit entirely. The first thing that stands out about this procedure is the cost of purchasing a new air conditioning system and installing it in your premise. However, if you have a particularly old system, efficiency is likely not its strong point – new systems are built with efficiency as a priority, so the money saved on energy bills can offset your original expense on the system.
Add alternative refrigerant
You can also add a different refrigerant to your system if the idea of an entirely new unit does not appeal. However, this process may also require you to purchase new components for your system, and you will need to do some research about compatible refrigerants – if you use an incompatible alternative, you run the risk of severely damaging your system.
- The cost of both of these options is a major factor in any decision you make. Replacing the unit outright will cost more than replacing a few components, but as mentioned above, the efficiency of new systems means that you will save significant amounts on a monthly basis, which can soften the blow of the initial outlay.
- If you are thinking of adding an alternative refrigerant, make sure that you check with the manufacturer of your system for information on appropriate types. As well as the functionality of your system, it can affect the efficiency of the unit and lead you to pay higher energy bills than you need to.
Here at Conditioned Environment Mechanical, we are on hand to help you replace or upgrade your air conditioning or refrigeration system. Our experts can provide the highest quality service, whether you need a replacement component or an entirely new system, ensuring that your air conditioning adheres to all existing legislation. For more information, get in touch with us today.