Since 1st January 2015, it has been illegal to use R22 refrigerant to maintain or repair your air conditioning.
While it is still legal to operate your system, the legislation makes it illegal to use additional R22 gas in maintenance and repairs. That means if you run into a problem, it is likely to be impossible to repair.
The EC Ozone Regulation (No. 1005/2009) was introduced to phase out HCFCs, including R22 gas, used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Since 1st January 2015, it has been illegal to use virgin, recycled and reclaimed R22 to maintain or repair air conditioning equipment. If your organisation currently operates an R22 system, it is vital that you're planning how to replace it.
R22 gas is an HCFC, or hydrochlorofluorocarbon, commonly used in air conditioning, process cooling and industrial refrigeration. It has been banned for use in new equipment in the UK since 2004.
The ban is in place because HCFCs are ozone-depleting substances. This means that when they are released into the air they react with and damage the ozone layer. This results in greater UV radiation reaching the earth's surface, causing wide-ranging environmental effects. These include rises in skin cancer, cataracts and sunburn, smaller and lower quality crop yields and destructive changes to ecosystems.
After the deadline, it will be illegal to replenish the refrigerant in your system, so even minor faults could make your air conditioning unusable and irreparable. You might need to order an emergency replacement, decommission your system or close your site, just to comply with the legislation.
If you have not yet taken action then please feel free to contact us today to discuss a solution that best works for you.
Do nothing. You are not breaking the rules by continuing to use R22 systems. However, you need to be aware that after 31st December 2014 it will be prohibited to repair R22 systems if that work involves breaking into the refrigerant system. In that event, legislation dictates that we must decant the gas and condemn the system.
Converting your existing system to make it compatible with a replacement 'drop in' gas. While this offers a reduced initial expenditure compared to full system replacement, the disadvantages are no replacement refrigerants offer an exact match to the thermal properties of R22 which could result in reduced capacity and efficiency. In addition, this is only a temporary measure. Parts for R22 systems are becoming more expensive & harder to source. The systems are older and prone to breakdown. So replacing the gas is no guarantee that the system will continue to run efficiently or reliably. More money may need to be spent, even in the short term!