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What you need to know about R22 Gas

HCFC-22 Gas, or more commonly known as R22, is a common refrigerant which has been extensively used in small and packaged air-conditioning equipment. R22 is a Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which has been identified under Montreal Protocol on Substances as being a gas which depletes the Ozone layer. For this reason, the import, export and manufacture of R22 and other HCFC’s has been controlled globally, with Australia adopting a gradual phase-out for some years now.

Under the current controls, Australia is decreasing imports of R22 from 2016 on a progressive basis with the aim to have a “close to” total phase out by 2020, albeit there will be some small volumes permitted for existing appliances until 2030.

So what does this mean for you if you have R22 in your air-conditioning equipment?

  1. The cost for R22 gas is on the increase due to its limited supply, so if your system has a leak and requires some R22 – then be prepared for a cost increase as this gas is only increasing in value.
  2. If your system has a dramatic gas loss, then you should get a quote to fix (and regas) as well as a comparative quote to replace the system, or retrofit it with a different refrigerant. There is no single best option here, as each system is different – but this will allow an informed decision.
  3. Some systems can be retrofitted economically, but you need to carefully consider the age of your equipment before doing this. Sometimes the replacement of the equipment will be a better option – especially when you consider other aspects as efficiency and forward maintenance. Some of the larger retailers have adopted a “replacement” policy – refer  http://www.climatecontrolnews.com.au/news/down-down-gas-use-is-down
  4. If your system is running well – then you don’t need to do anything. A well maintained and appropriately installed system can run for many years, so proactive maintenance will not only prolong its life, but could save a lot on gas replacement along the way.

Given the vast range of equipment in the market, it is impossible to provide specific advice in a short article, other than to say that you need to be aware of the growing cost of this refrigerant. If you have specific concerns about your equipment, or feel that you are not getting the correct advice on your R22 equipment – then call us to arrange an on-site evaluation.