R22 Ban









The greenhouse gas R22 has been long proven to be harmful to the environment and whilst there are other gases in use that are just as harmful they are not used as widely as R22 which is why, in a bid to beat global warming, the government has been taking steps to phase this out. This ongoing initiative to reduce Ozone depleting substances began in the 1990s banning the most harmful CFC's such as R12 and was followed by a ban on new equipment using ‘transitional’ CFC's including R22 in 2001 (2004 for smaller air conditioning systems).


Virgin R22 was banned at the end of 2009 so in the event of low refrigerant, current R22 systems must be topped up with 'recovered refrigerant' from old decommissioned systems which is now unsurprisingly in short supply. As of 1st January 2015 there will be a complete ban on R22 refrigerant and all systems must be decommissioned before this date.





Some R22 systems can be 'converted' to run on R407c by changing specific components. However, given that it is 10 years since R22 systems stopped being sold in the UK we can assume that the remaining systems are now quite old and as a result we would not advise putting money into them when they are reaching the end of their life. Further to this we are limited to what repairs we can carry out on defective R22 systems as many manufacturers will no longer supply parts for these due to concerns about the damage they are causing to the environment and the fact that they will soon be obsolete.


We strongly recommend that those with R22 systems make allowances in their budgets for replacement air conditioning so that they can take action over the next 12 months. We will decommission and safely remove the old systems and replace them with new systems running on R410a refrigerant which are more environmentally friendly and up to 40% more efficient with regard to running costs. R410a has an 'Ozone Depleting Potential' of zero meaning if any gas escapes if will not cause any damage unlike R22. R410a systems use a highly soluble, synthetic lubricant for smoother operation to reduce wear and tear on the compressor and other moving parts which will extend their life. Further to that R410a systems are more reliable than R22 systems because the technology is more current meaning more efficient and quiet operation with less vibration damage. R410a can also absorb and release heat more efficiently than R22 so compressors with R410a run cooler meaning less risk of burning out.





Ozone is a type of molecule made of three connected oxygen atoms written in scientific terms as O3. It is mostly found in the Stratosphere and absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise cause a variety of hazards for humans, animals and plant life. Stratospheric Ozone is different from Ground-Level Ozone (which contributes to smog in our cities). Ozone is constantly being made by collisions of oxygen molecules (O2) and oxygen atoms (O) and at the same time is also continually being destroyed by similar collisions between O3 molecules and O atoms, resulting in pairs of O2 molecules. In theory there should be an even balance between creation and destruction, resulting in a constant layer of ozone.


When CFC molecules (Chlorine, Fluorine and Carbon) and HCFC molecules (Hydrogen, Chlorine, Flourine and Carbon) are released into the atmosphere, they eventually break down into their individual atoms. The Chlorine atoms then react with the Ozone and cause destruction at a faster rate than new Ozone is created.


Because Stratospheric Ozone protects us from potentially damaging UV rays Ozone depletion is a major concern for all living things on the planet bringing an increased chance of skin cancers and cataracts and even a reduction in food crop yields.


R410a is neither a CFC nor a HCFC. It is a Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and as it does not contain chlorine it will not deplete Ozone as it breaks down.



If you would like us to arrange for one of our engineers to come out to you to carry out a survey of all your current systems, we can generate a report detailing what will need replacing with a newer, safer, more efficient R410a system and what the cost for this will be. Please call us on 01204 778 112 or email sales@cooltechairconditioning.com