Some may ask ‘why do we need to replace refrigerants?’ Well as we all know, there is growing concern about the environmental impact of chemicals and gases used widely for years in our everyday lives. R-22 refrigerant has been identified as one of the chemicals which interact with and deplete the ozone layer. The ozone of course protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays, which can damage skin, eyes and interfere with crop yields. This has created demand for safe, environmentally friendly alternatives that provide the same high performance cooling without contributing to global warming. This issue has been at the top of the agenda for some time, accelerated by legislation which increasingly targets gases with high Global Warming Potential [GWP].
R-410A is a Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which does not contain chlorine thought to be responsible for environmental damage. This form of refrigerant has no Ozone Depleting Potential [ODP] and as such is now recommended for use in things like air conditioning systems and heat pumps.
R-410A is the leading replacement for air conditioning systems and is set to become the standard refrigerant product, as it has zero ODP and a reduced GWP. Systems using HFC’s should be regularly inspected, serviced and maintained by qualified contractors like Turn Key Air Conditioning Ltd. It is crucial that only trained technicians work on this equipment when it comes to installation, general maintenance, leak testing, disposal and decommissioning.
From 31st December 2014, all recycled and reclaimed R-22 was also banned from use, meaning it was impossible to service and maintain these air conditioning systems. Many owners of air conditioning systems which run on the banned F Gas R-22 have replaced their entire system with one that uses R-410A. This is especially appropriate where there is a need for component replacement or a major repair, as it would not be worth carrying out this work on an old system. Modern R-410A systems are 30% more efficient than older pre 2006 systems, and replacing an air conditioning system which is over 10 years old can result in savings of 50% to 70%.
Aside from being a more eco friendly option, R-410A performs more efficiently than R-22, operating comfortably at pressures 50% greater. This affects design and installation practices, as old welds may be too weak to take the increased pressure. The variation in type of lubricant used for R-22 and R-410A means that the same components cannot be used for both. Some have tried to clean the old refrigerant lines, although replacement is preferable for a number of reasons.
Lubricants used with R-410A absorb moisture quicker and at an increased rate compared to mineral oil, rendering installation difficult and maintenance more essential. Also, R-410A lubricants carry contaminants like copper oxides through the system where mineral oil was used for R-22. This means the potential for clogging of thermostatic expansion valves, and guaranteeing a further need for maintenance.
Mitsubishi are market leading manufacturers of air conditioning systems, and are one of the names we offer our customers to provide safe, effective and eco friendly cooling for retail, leisure, manufacturing and all kinds of businesses throughout the UK. Our systems have a solid reputation for being reliable, economical and energy efficient. Unobtrusive and compact, these systems will blend into the background when in situ, and their innovative Catechin and anti-allergenic specially coated filters cut out odours, dust, viruses and bacteria. These air conditioning systems of course use R-410A, and will fulfil the needs of even the most demanding environments.