R22 is an old-style refrigerant gas previously used in air conditioning systems and other cooling equipment.
To combat the problem of the ever-increasing hole in the ozone layer, it was agreed under the terms of the Montreal Protocol that ozone-depleting substances, including CFCs and HCFCs, would be phased out globally to help stem the problem.
It is now illegal to sell equipment containing R22 gas and many manufacturers are unable to provide even spare parts for these older systems. You are also unable to buy R22 gas in its original, untainted form although some alternatives are available; again, these alternatives are also being phased out.
As a result of these changes, if you have an R22 system and it suffers a gas leak, it may not be possible to repair or refill your system. If your unit is your sole source of heating or cooling and you have a failure, you may well be without heating or cooling for a considerable period of time. This could be potentially catastrophic if, for example, your system is being used to cool a server room. In the case of a major failure such as a blown compressor then, in all likelihood, it would not even be possible to reuse the existing pipework because of contamination within the system, further delaying any repairs or replacement while increasing the costs of such a replacement.
R22 replacement is a cheaper alternative to replacing the entire system as we need to replace the outside unit (condenser). In some cases, depending on the manufacturer and type of unit, you may need to replace the indoor units but not the interconnecting pipework. This upgraded system will then run on the newer, more environmentally friendly gases.
If your R22 system has been maintained and is still working correctly you can certainly benefit by pre-emptively changing to a compliant and newer R22-replacement system. Not only will this changeover be at a lower cost than a total system replacement, but you will also benefit from lower running costs and the inevitable total replacement costs that you will incur at some point in the not too distant future.
Another advantage is you can do this changeover at a time that suits you so you can plan your business activities or home life around it.
From the point of view of longevity, cost, forward-planning and long-term efficiencies, R22 replacement is the sensible choice.
For Pricing and Expert Advice Call Our Maintenance Team on: 020 3740 2122
We will provide a full survey by our Air Conditioning Specialists to confirm if R22 replacement is the best option for your system.
We look at the existing units to check that they are capable of handling the newer gases. Other factors that we take into account would be, for example, whether pipework was installed at the same time as the building was constructed; very often the pipework is buried in concrete or behind walls. As such, it may be easier to use the use the existing pipework.
However, if your existing system is eight, ten or 15 years old, then so is the pipework! As newer systems run at much higher pressures than older R22 systems, the sensible option may still be to replace the pipework at the same time.