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R22 Replacement

Air Conditioning R22 Replacement

If you have an air conditioning system that is more than ten years old, there is a high probability it uses R22 refrigerant. From the end of 2014, UK regulations in place to meet obligations under the Montreal Protocol will make it unlawful for anyone to service or maintain an air conditioning system using R22 refrigerant.

The ‘phase out’ measure is designed to combat the damage of the ozone layer created by ODS (ozone-depleting substances). It is now illegal to sell equipment containing R22 refrigerant, and many manufacturers are even unable to provide spare parts for these older systems.

The regulations will make replacing R22 refrigerant in existing equipment or installing new cleaner and more efficient air conditioning equipment a high priority for thousands of customers in the UK. Now is the right time to begin the process of removing R22 refrigerant from your system.

The industry estimates there are up to 750,000 R22 systems still in use, so with the deadline approaching, customers waiting until 2015 to begin their replacement process are likely find a shortage of qualified and accredited engineers who are able to meet the changeover demand and timescales.

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The law has changed and what you NEED to know

R22 is a refrigerant with a high ODP (ozone-depleting potential) value, and when released into the atmosphere, it causes damage to the ozone layer. The Government, along with the whole of the European Union, have signed a UN international treaty to ‘phase out’ this refrigerant to protect the environment and reduce any further damage to the ozone layer.

It is estimated that more than 60% of air conditioning systems in operation today are using R22 refrigerant, so it is going to be a monumental task to remove it from those systems.

The first step was a ban on all newly manufactured air conditioning systems carrying R22, and then in December 2009, virgin R22 was banned, meaning only recycled R22 was available for servicing, maintenance and repair of systems using R22. This ‘phase out’ will end with a complete ban on all R22 use with effect from January 1st 2015. On that date, if your system uses R22 and suffers a leak, it will not be possible to repair or refill it.

If it is your sole source of heating or cooling, and there is a failure, you may well be without heating or cooling for a considerable period of time. This could be catastrophic if, for example, your system is being used to cool a server room. Until that date, the stock and availability of recycled R22 is continually decreasing, and consequently the cost is being driven up by suppliers as stocks dwindle.

Ignoring Regulation (EC) 1005/2009 and the changes it brings until the end of 2014, will not exempt you or your company from being affected by it as of January 2015. With this in mind, CoolZone Air Conditioning recommend that all users of R22 refrigerants commence planning for their ‘phase out’ now.

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Benefits of upgrading

Save up to 50% on the cost of replacing your R22 equipment by re-using existing R22 pipework, cables and drain work. CoolZone Air Conditioning will guarantee the quality of existing pipework by using a specialist pipe flushing and decontamination system for the retrofit, ensuring pipework is clean and free from contamination.

The vast majority of systems running R22 refrigerant can be using up to 40% more energy in running costs than a new system, and sometimes even more! With all businesses trying to reduce their rising energy costs, replacing your R22 system can result in substantial savings.

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R22 - What do I do next?

CoolZone Air Conditioning can help you to plan a cost-effective way of replacing your existing R22 equipment, our expert team will take all factors into consideration to advise you on your best course of action.

For further information on how CoolZone Air Conditioning can provide you with a solution for your R22 needs, or a free site survey to upgrade your current systems, please contact a member of our expert team!

Trust CoolZone

We are aware of false or misleading information being given to customers who have systems that use R22 refrigerant. All too often, they are given poor advice about what they have to do to comply with forthcoming legislation, with potentially very costly consequences.

CoolZone Air Conditioning will provide its customers with reliable and accurate information about their obligations, as well as providing details and advice in relation to all available options from ‘drop in’ replacement refrigerant blends, partial system upgrades, to full system replacements. This enables our customers to comply with legislation and not be burdened with unnecessary costs.

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Air Con Essex R22 Replacement

The low cost option

With the high cost of remaining R22 stock, and its low availability, it is now a more economical option to replace or upgrade current R22 systems rather than carry out expensive work using a dying refrigerant. CoolZone Air Conditioning can guide you through the minefield of available options, keep your system compliant with regulations, and at the same time provide you with a much more efficient system that will provide you with year on year savings.

Replacing existing R22 must not be ignored or underestimated, and CoolZone Air Conditioning can offer you a very simple and reasonably priced alternative, with minimal disruption to you or your business.

Many new systems offer excellent replacement technology, involving replacing the internal fan coils and external condensers only, with no alteration to any of the pipework, cables or drainage in-between. This in turn lowers the cost of materials, the number of days labour required, and disruption to you.

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CoolZone retrofit procedure

We recover existing R22 refrigerant from the system pipework into recovery cylinders, recording all unit, site and refrigerant details, in line with government regulations.

We carry out a 2-stage flushing process of refrigerant pipework to remove all oil, acid, water vapour, water and other contaminated particles.

We ensure integrity of all pipework by pressure testing for leaks, and to verify its strength, in line with manufacturer and industry guidelines.

R22 - what are my options?

1 - Switch to using clean 'drop-in' refrigerants

These alternative gases are similar to R22, however they are less harmful with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP). They are legal to use in air conditioning systems under EC regulations.

Pros

  • Minimal initial capital outlay.
  • Minimal disruption in the short term.

Cons

  • Manufacturers do not endorse the use of ‘drop in’ refrigerants.
  • Performance of ‘drop in’ gases is untested and there is no evidence to support their reliability.
  • Spare parts for R22 systems are no longer available.
  • The running costs of R22 systems are significantly higher than new systems.
  • The energy usage and impact on the environment of R22 systems is far greater than the modern alternatives.

2 - Replace the whole system, including the pipework.

Pros

  • Modern systems are much more efficient.
  • They are designed to use significantly less energy which reduces the running costs.
  • The impact on the environment is greatly reduced.
  • New units come with the benefit of a warranty period.

Cons

  • High initial capital outlay.
  • Significant short term disruption.

3 - Replace only the indoor and outdoor units, leaving the existing wiring and pipework in place.

Pros

  • Improves efficiency and performance.
  • Increases reliability.
  • Reduces running costs.
  • Lower capital outlay than when replacing the whole system, including pipework.
  • Faster and less disruptive than replacing the whole system.
  • Reduces waste by taking advantage of the infrastructure already in place.
  • Reduces CO2 emissions.

Cons

  • This option is not always possible and some systems will need to be completely replaced.
  • Initial capital outlay.
  • Short term disruption.