R22 is an HCFC widely used in air conditioning systems. The chlorine in HCFCs is ozone depleting and since January 2010 it has been illegal to produce or stock virgin R22. R22 is the most common HCFC in use in the UK today.
Here are the main points of legislation regarding R22:
There are two main options regarding the ban on R22.
Alternatives to R22 are available, such as R422D and R427A. As the name suggests, these products are dropped in as a replacement for the R22. There are however significant potential problems with using Drop-In refrigerants. For example, they have different pressure-temperature characteristics to R22 which can confuse the embedded system software, giving erroneous pressure/temperature readings. These products could potentially create unstable air conditioning systems, leading to deterioration of many parts within the system. This could in turn lead to catastrophic system failure such as compressor burnout or seal failures. Risks include:
Recycled R22 can only be used in air conditioning systems for servicing and maintenance purposes and since Jan 2015, R22 systems may no longer be re-filled with recycled R22.
There are two options regarding R22 air conditioning system replacement – full or part replacement. Full replacement involves the replacement of all air conditioning equipment and component parts. Mitsubishi’s patented Replace Technology enables part replacement, where the air conditioning equipment is replaced but the existing pipework and electrical system is retained. In both systems, the new inverter driven R410A air conditioning units are used, offering energy savings of around 50% on R22 driven systems.
The decision on part or full replacement will involve a number of factors:
Several conditions should be considered when evaluating the payback period for R22 system replacement:
Each company should have an assessment of their air conditioning requirements made by accredited, experienced professionals. TK Air Conditioning work with the world’s major system providers and are ideally placed to recommend a strategy for dealing with the R22 removal. Call now on 0191 438 7410 to arrange a site visit and assessment.
Mitsubishi Electric’s patented Replace Technology system enables existing pipeline and electrical networks to remain in place when air conditioning units are replaced in the switchover from other refrigerants to R410A.
Replace Technology makes it easier for businesses to change a highly efficient air conditioning system using R410A, as the investment required is considerably less than a full system replacement.
With the Replace Technology system, only the outdoor and indoor air conditioning cassettes are replaced. The existing pipework and electrical and communications wiring stays in place. In this way, the Replace Technology system brings several benefits:
The operating costs of the Replace Technology system are considerably reduced, due to the high efficiency ratio and an energy efficiency rating of ‘A’. In combination with the CFC-free refrigerant R410A, the Mitsubishi inverter technology not only makes Mitsubishi Electric split systems extremely effective, but also provides both cooling and heating, as required, by you, the customer. Savings of up to 50% can be made on operating costs.
The sustainability features built into Replace Technology means that CO2 emissions are also reduced significantly. The environment can be protected still further if the new R410A system uses heat recovery to cool and heat rooms. This way, old gas and oil heating systems can also be eliminated, along with the old air conditioning system.