An R22 refrigerant gas ban comes into effect on 01 January 2015.
This will make it illegal to service (the gas section) of air conditioning units containing R22 from this date.
What is R22?
R22 refrigerant gas is a HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) or ozone depleting substance. It is one of the last remaining ozone depleting substances that is in common use.
Where can R22 be found?
R22 is a common refrigerant gas found in air conditioning systems. The label on the side of the unit will tell you what type of gas the system contains.
What is happening R22 from 01 January 2015?
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state;
“From 1 January 2015, the use of all HCFCs in the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment will be prohibited.”
“It should be noted that recovered refrigerant gas is considered a hazardous waste and must be managed accordingly. From 01 January 2015, there will be no legitimate use for any recovered R22; therefore, it must be discarded and managed as a hazardous waste.”
What should I do with R22?
In Thermodial’s case it is a policy of ours not to “drop in” an R22 substitute gas. Given the age of most R22 air conditioning units the most economic and energy efficient option in the majority of cases is to replace the whole unit. Dropping in a replacement gas could also affect another aspect of the system therefore replacement of the unit is best practice for business continuity.
Will banning R22 really have an effect?
- Projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070.
- The UN calculated that without the 1987 Montreal Protocol pact, by 2030 there would have been an extra two million skin cancer cases a year around the world.
By law only certified people/companies can service air conditioning systems containing refrigerant gas. Use the F-Gas Registration website to check that your service maintenance company is fully registered.
Thermodial’s Service Engineers are trained to the highest level – category Ⅰ – which allows them unlimited activity on F-Gas systems.
People/companies found to be in breach of F-Gas regulations set out by the EPA could be subject to a fine not exceeding € 12,697,380 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or, at the discretion of the courts.