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An Update on the Refrigerant R-22
Tony Anderson, Partner, provides an update on the phasing out of the refrigerant R-22, and talks about 422D, its replacement.
Last October, Bill Richards posted R22 Refrigerant: Six Things You Should Know There is now some good news to report. R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for heat pumps and air-conditioning systems for more than four decades. But it is bad for the environment because it contributes to ozone depletion and greenhouse gases. The government has mandated a steady decline in production of R-22 until 2020, when all production must cease. Though that may seem like a long time from now, the target for 2015 is to cut production by 90%, so manufacturers have started now. Because R-22 is less readily available, the price has skyrocketed.
Using 422D as a Replacement
As R-22 has been phased out, non-ozone-depleting alternative refrigerants, such as 422D, are being introduced. 422D is called a “drop in” replacement because the old R-22 can simply be removed, and the new refrigerant installed without having to change the oil in the compressor or anything else (in most cases). If you have a leak in your system now, it is best to repair the leak and recharge the system with 422D. Not only is it good for the ozone, but it will be a lot cheaper! Typically, 422D is $10-$15 per pound cheaper than R-22, and it could be more, depending on how scarce R-22 becomes. If you have a big unit that has 50 pounds of refrigerant in it, you’re going to save a lot of money by using it. If you have a smaller unit, you’ll still save, though it won’t be quite as much, but it will be good for the long haul. We’ve been using 422D for over a year now, and the performance has been great; we’ve had no problems with it at all.
Important Tip: If you use 422D, make sure there is label affixed to your unit that says this, in case another service technician comes back behind, to make sure they don’t put R-22 in a 422D unit.