R22 Facts and Features
As air conditioning specialists, we have recently often been asked “do I need to replace equipment using R22 refrigerant? Is operating my R22 equipment totally illegal in the UK now?”
The short answer is: no. So don’t panic.
There are a few companies out there who are using the R22 ban to scare clients into (sometimes unnecessary) expensive new installations. So here are the facts:
- You can continue to use your air conditioning equipment even if it uses R22, as long as it isn’t leaking. Thermotech can service and maintain your air conditioning units for as long as they keep working (as long as the refrigerant does not develop any issues).
- R22 is common in equipment that was built before 2004. Although these units may be over a decade old, as long as they have been properly serviced and maintained up to now, they may run for many years to come.
- R22 can not be replenished from January 2015 onwards. So if your equipment has a breakdown which requires breaking into the refrigerant circuit, then a solution will need to be found. There are alternative ‘drop in’ refrigerants which could be used in place of R22, however there is usually a drop in duty (meaning it will not work as efficiently as it did the original R22) – when you couple this with an older system which may be inefficient itself anyway, you may get to a point where the unit would be so inefficient that it is rendered unfit for purpose. In these cases, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace equipment altogether.
If you are unsure about whether your air conditioning, refrigeration or heat pump equipment really needs replacing or not – get in touch by email or call us on 0161 476 5551 and a Thermotech Engineer will be happy to give you (free) advice!
R22 is an HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon) which when leaked into the atmosphere, depletes the ozone layer! The Ozone Regulations came into force in 2000 and banned the use of ozone depleting HCFC refrigerants such as R22 in new systems. The Regulation banned the use of R22 as a “top-up” fluid for maintenance between 2010 (for virgin fluid) and 2015 (for recycled fluid).