R22 Refrigerant Replacement

Do you have a system that may require R22 refrigerant replacement?

The R22 refrigerant used in such systems before 2003 has ozone-depleting potential and was banned from 1 January 2015. What this means for you now is that if your system breaks down or needs a service, it may need to be replaced because you won’t be able to get spare parts and you can no longer recharge your system using R22 refrigerant. Therefore, if yours is an R22 air conditioning system, you have two choices:

R22 refrigerant replacement option one:

Do nothing and risk site shutdown and/or fines according to EC Ozone Regulation No. 1005/2009.

R22 refrigerant replacement option two:

Plan a considered, costed replacement strategy to reduce the risk. Replacing your system can reduce running costs and carbon emissions while providing a more controllable, comfortable environment. Replacing your system needn’t be expensive and could even be cost neutral.

  • Modern commercial air conditioning systems can provide heating as well as cooling, reducing your energy bills.
  • Kimpton Energy Solutions can also provide a finance package to help you spread the cost of the equipment and the installation.
  • Offset the costs against your annual tax bill if the equipment is ECA rated.


Here’s what you need to know.

R22 Refrigerant replacement

The hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) compound (Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane) is also known as HCFC-22 or by its more popularly known name of R22 refrigerant.

R22 Refrigerant is a colourless gas and was once a commonly used propellant and refrigerant in air conditioning applications. From 2010 only recycled or saved stocks of the R22 Refrigerant could be used and it can no longer be manufactured. R22 is classified as a greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential.

R22 Refrigerant Legislation

New legislation has come into force to limit the manufacture and use of R22 as a refrigerant. This has been necessary to reduce its impact on the environment and limiting its effect on global warming. From 2010 it was no longer possible to manufacture R22 and only existing stocks could be used limiting its availability and increasing its price.

Why are the changes being made?

The R22 refrigerant legislation changes are been made because it has been shown that R22 has a negative effect on the ozone layer which protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, there has also been discussion about the effects of R22 on global warming, whilst many believe its not the most significant contributor to global warming, it still has an effect which needs to be controlled through legislation. Many companies who use R22 Refrigerant in their systems started to comply with the R22 legislation in advance of the deadlines which has been demonstrated by the facts that the majority of R22 refrigeration units are at least one third of their way through their planned lifespan and when companies are modernising their plants, they are choosing to move over to alternative refrigeration solutions rather than spending money and resources repairing or maintaining the existing R22 refrigerant systems. In addition, new plants are being built that use refrigerants which have zero ozone depleting potential such as ammonia and R404A. These alternative refrigerants to R22 are also proven to be more energy efficient than the R22 refrigerant and are therefore a better and more popular choice for the companies in question.

When do the changes have to be completed by?

The ultimate deadline is 2015 and many companies, even though they have started looking at the implications of looking at an alternative to R22 have left them an awful lot to do to comply with the full R22 legislation prior to this date.

Another problem facing many companies is that they rely on the existing R22 refrigerant for their day to day business operation so they can’t simply “turn off” the process whilst an alternative is designed and built. Key to a smooth transition lies with ensuring the successful project management of the removal of the R22 refrigerant and professional installation of a replacement system. In order to efficiently facilitate the move away from R22 Refrigerant, it is important to effectively and efficiently utilise the existing equipment wherever possible as well as the planned construction of new building, minimising disruption to ongoing operations and the smooth integration of new plant during a suitable period. However, it should not be forgotten that the most important part of the process is the careful and safe removal of the R22 and its integral chemicals.

The replacement of R22 also carries substantial risk as the new refrigerants contain Hydrocarbons. Consisting mostly of Iso-butane, Propane and Ammonia, these refrigerants have additional hazards associated with them which will require specialist engineering skills to deal with. In addition, there is also an impending “Mandatory registration’ of engineers onto the ACRIB register and Companies onto the REFCOM register that must be adhered to.

HCFC’S including R22 Refrigerant overview

  • 01/01/2001 – Freeze at 2% of CFC consumption in 1989 + total HCFC consumption in 1989 by 01 January 2001
  • 01/02/2002 – 15% cut
  • 01/01/2003 – 55% cut
  • 01/01/2004 – 70% cut
  • 01/01/2008 – 75% cut
  • end 2009 – Phase out complete

Mitsubishi Business Solutions Partner

Since April 2017, Kimpton Air Conditioning Division have been a Business Solutions Partner of Mitsubishi. We work closely with them and all of our team are fully trained in the correct installation, maintenance and ongoing use of their equipment. Mitsubishi’s quality is renowned across the globe, and we’re proud to call ourselves official partners. Our in-depth product knowledge allows us to offer extended warranties of up to 7 years, providing maintenance inspections are performed regularly.

There are not many other players out there able to offer a full seven-year warranty. If you’re not familiar with them, here is a short intro video to better explain their position on R22 refrigerant replacement.

Case Studies

Air Conditioning Broughton Hall School
  • Education

Air Conditioning Broughton Hall School

The Client Historical Broughton Hall was built in 1860 for a prominent Liverpool merchant and converted into Broughton Hall High School in 1928. It is a 1,300-pupil

  • Health

Air Conditioning System R22 Replacement

Customer: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Service: HVAC replacement Project value: £200k The Client Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is the principal

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