From the 1st January 2015, it has been illegal to refresh the refrigerant in old climate control systems of any kind that run on R22. While you can legally continue to run your system, if you have any leaks or maintenance issues, you will not be able to obtain new refrigerant to fix your air conditioning. For more information about the R22 phase out, including the legalities and the timeline, please have a look at our R22 FAQs.
R22 Replacement Options
If you’re using R22 right now then you need to make a decision about how you’re going to adapt to the changes. Although your air conditioning can seem like a low priority, without it your building could become unusable. You have three basic options – full replacement, conversion so that your unit can use a modern alternative to R22, or to leave your system as it is.
1: System replacement: Often the most straightforward solution, it’s a good idea to consider replacing your entire system. The costs of doing so will usually be compensated by the fact that new systems are much more efficient, resulting in reduced energy bills. You’ll also not lose any business hours caused by faulty or broken down old equipment making your commercial spaces unusable.
2: System conversion: It’s possible to convert some older systems so they will accept a substitute refrigerant, which is a great option if your system is still in great working order. However, some manufacturers suggest that using modern refrigerant in converted AC systems can lead to poorer equipment performance, meaning you’ll have higher energy costs. Any increase in energy costs is something any industry will want to avoid, both for their profits and for reaching those Government green targets. Changing the refrigerant may also have implications for any long-standing warrantee, so this should also be considered.
3: Leave it be: It is legal to leave a system that uses R22 running past the date of the ban so leaving your AC is a viable option for some businesses. such as those who don't rely heavily on them. However, they should be aware that if their air conditioning breaks, the maintenance process becomes a lot more complicated because replacement refrigerant will not be available.
Any industry that relies on strict control of the atmospheric conditions should easily see the danger in leaving their old system running. For example, if you have computer servers, food, or a busy office/factory environment then the breakdown of your climate control systems would be devastating to your business. You should also consider the legal and environmental implications of a leak.
There are pros and cons to each option, and how suitable each one is depends heavily on the age, type and quality of your existing system, how much you rely on it, and of course whether you intend to keep the building. If you need to replace or convert an air conditioning system that is currently running on R22 then contact TEK for some no-obligation advice about which option is best for you.
Why Replace With New Equipment?
Conversion of old equipment to accept a substitute refrigerant may be a viable option for some businesses. However, the inefficiency of converted systems in comparison to a new system could mean that your bills are much higher than necessary. Leaving your equipment as it is could also leave you stranded without any kind of climate control, which could be disastrous for your business.
No system lasts forever, so if you weigh up all the long-term costs of converting or maintaining your older system, it can be a more sound commercial decision to replace your old system with new air conditioning. This will have maximum efficiency, saving you money on your energy bills and the inconvenience of dealing with the hassles that come with old equipment. If you’ve decided that either conversion or installation of a new air conditioning system is right for you then contact us on 0117 952 3355.