Refrigerant R22 is classed as a greenhouse gas and in a continuing bid to decrease global warming, a complete ban on the refrigerant, including reclaimed or recycled, came into force on 31st December 2014. Despite a complete ban on the use of R22 refrigerant, there are still sites with R22 equipment that was installed before the ban.
New installations will only use refrigerants like R410a and R32 that have zero Ozone Depleting Potential.
The legislation restricts the repairs that are legally possible to R22 equipment and in many cases, systems must be removed or replaced. Planned replacement projects are advisable as downtime can be kept to a minimum. An unplanned replacement project could leave you without cooling for longer.
Replacing systems with equipment that uses an eco-friendly refrigerant, like R410a, may well be the most cost-effective option for some old, inefficient systems. The cost of replacing will often bring savings in operational electricity costs through improved energy efficiency.
The Carbon Trust can offer interest free loans to upgrade your existing system. The loan scheme is designed so that anticipated energy savings offset the repayments on the loan. The government are also providing incentives and have introduced the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme. This allows any company replacing an existing air conditioning system with a new efficient model to offset the entire cost of the project against its taxable profits for the year the system is installed. A new system will also help improve the Energy performance of the building.