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Monday, 14 October 2013
R22 Refrigerant : Six Things you should know
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Bill Richards, Service Manager, explains the current issues regarding the use of R22 refrigerant in performing repairs on existing air conditioning units. 

 

  1. What is it? R22 is a refrigerant essential to all air conditioning systems. Some call it Freon, but that term is a brand name like Kleenex.  R22 is the code name assigned by the industry to a certain mix of liquids and gases that make a refrigerant.  A Government mandate has ordered all production of R22 stopped by 2020. The mandate reduces the amount permitted each year until 2020. The reason for stopping production is that R22 when released into the atmosphere depletes the ozone layer.
  2. R410 is an environmentally friendly refrigerant which has replaced R22 in all new air conditioning units.
  3. Recycled R22 is permitted by the mandate and will be available indefinitely. How much is available depends on how much is turned in by contractors.
  4. The Government underestimated how much Recycled R22 would be available when it set the annual limits for production of virgin R22. The result was a shortage of R22 and soaring prices.  As an example 5 years ago R22 sold for $10 per pound. Today R22 can be as much as $50 per pound.  Typical residential air conditioning unit hold from 5 to 15 pounds of R22. If a coil has to be replaced or there is a leak the cost of refilling the refrigerant could be $250 to $750. My house has a 17 year old unit with R22.  There is no need to replace this unit or its refrigerant because it has R22. If I start having a lot expense to repair leaks or coils I would replace the unit because the cost of R22 will continue to rise. You have to look at the cost of repairs vs. replacement.
  5. Are there substitutes for R22?  Yes there are some new blends called R422D that come very close to offering the same performance as R22.  In residential applications the cost to use R22 is still not that big.  In commercial applications you have large equipment  which uses a lot of refrigerant and that is where we would look at using the substitute because R22 is so expensive.
  6. Can R410 be used in existing units. No! R410 will not work in a system designed for R22. You can only used the R22 substitutes

 

Summary

  1. Vrgin R22 phased out by 2020
  2. R410 is used in all new equipment
  3. Recycled R22 will be available indefinitely
  4. Price of R22 has soared from Government mandates.
  5. R22 substitutes are available
  6. R410 will not work in existing systems.

Bill Richards


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Posted on 10/14/2013 9:49 AM by Bill Richards
Comments
17 Dec 2014
Send an emailFred True
Well, Amazon sells the stuff TODAY in 30 pound bottles for $330 shipped anywhere in CONUS.

That's $11/pound delivered


17 Jun 2016
CM

I have two proposals on the table. One says "yes" to this question and one says "no"

THE Question is:

Can the line set - the copper tubing connecting the interior air handler and the exterior compressor - be used when I replace the R22 system with the R410 system? 



16 Aug 2016
Send an emailMartin Scott
I have a window ac unit that uses R22 refridgerant. I have had the unit 14 years and never recharged it. As of this week it has stopped cooling. Nothing else is wrong with the unit that I can see. Can I use a recharge kit with a different coolant? And if so, what can I use? Or wlould I just need to buy a new unit altogether? I would rather try recharging first if its possible.

16 Aug 2016
Send an emailMartin Scott
I have a window ac unit that uses R22 refridgerant. I have had the unit 14 years and never recharged it. As of this week it has stopped cooling. Nothing else is wrong with the unit that I can see. Can I use a recharge kit with a different coolant? And if so, what can I use? Or wlould I just need to buy a new unit altogether? I would rather try recharging first if its possible.