Friday, 28 March 2014
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.  

Posted on 03/28/2014 12:00 PM by Eddie Hutton
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