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Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning installation and maintenance across the UK

R22 Replacement

What is R22?

R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), previously used in air conditioning, process cooling and industrial refrigeration plant applications.

Why has R22 been phased out?

When R22 is released into the air, chlorine is released in the stratosphere and reacts with ozone, contributing to ozone layer depletion. New refrigerants such as R-410A can transform performance, making the latest R22 replacement systems up to 40% more efficient in cooling than older R22 systems.

Since 1st January 2015, it has been illegal to maintain or repair air conditioning systems that use R22 refrigerant. This has made all systems still using the gas redundant in the event of a breakdown requiring maintenance.

This however in no way restricts your replacement options. Our technology partner, Mitsubishi Electric, has developed flexible solutions to meet individual needs.

The main R22 replacement options accepted by the industry are:

  • Complete System Replacement
  • Partial System Replacement
  • Use of ‘Drop-in’ Refrigerants

Complete System Replacement

This involves replacing all components of your air conditioning or refrigeration system, inclusive of outdoor and indoor units, pipework and electrical wiring. It ensures you have the most technologically advanced equipment with the lowest lifecycle cost and is the best long term solution to the phase out of R22.

In certain cases, mainly in the case of very old systems it is impossible to re-use any of your existing equipment, making a full system replacement the only available solution. The downside to this approach is that it involves the highest initial capital outlay and increases the installation time.

If you have the resources to upgrade your entire system, it’s certainly worth doing. You will get the most energy efficient air conditioning system with the lowest lifecycle costs. However, if your initial budget is limited, please speak to us about the alternatives.

Filta Refrigeration are proud to offer air conditioning equipment that complies with the criteria set out within the Energy Technology List (ETL). This is a list of the most energy efficient equipment available today and is managed by the Department for Energy and Climate Change alongside the Carbon Trust.

The benefits to you of using equipment compliant with the ETL criteria are:

  • Reduced lifecycle costs
  • Reduced CO₂ emissions
  • Reduction in the CCL (Climate Change Levy) your business is required to pay based on your energy usage
  • Your ability to claim an Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) equivalent to the percentage corporation tax for which your business is liable against the entire cost of installation.

For example, if your new installation costs £10,000 and your business pays 24% corporation tax, the value of the ECA would be £2,400. Filta Refrigeration will provide you with the necessary paperwork and certification to make the claiming of an ECA a smooth process.

Partial system replacement

By reusing your existing infrastructure, including pipework, wiring and power supply, you could cut installation costs by up to 55% and minimise the impact on your business. This approach significantly reduces installation times and can come very close to matching the benefits of a total system replacement.

You will quickly realise improvements to performance, energy efficiency and running costs, without having to make an overwhelming investment.

Our technology partner, Mitsubishi Electric, offers appliances compatible with infrastructure designed for the existing R22 equipment. This involves installing state of the art air conditioning units and integrating them with your existing infrastructure. The technology and installation process guarantees that your piping network is clean, fit for purpose and free from the banned R22 refrigerant.

Partial R22 replacement solutions also provide you with a perfect opportunity to upgrade your system, increasing the capacity or number of units. This approach brings your old infrastructure up to speed with the contemporary needs of your business. We can work alongside you to design a system that is truly fit for purpose, saving you money by using the infrastructure you currently have installed.

Worthy of note is that the same benefits with regards to ECA are available even if only partial replacement is carried out. Essentially, the same equipment is specified for both full and partial replacement.

Use of ‘Drop-In’ Refrigerants

Drop-in refrigerants aim to match the function of R22 in old systems without the legal implications or negative environmental impact. However, the term is somewhat misleading. In reality, it’s impossible to use a substitute refrigerant without complex re-engineering and re-commissioning.

Taking this approach will diminish your system’s reliability and performance, leaving you at risk of total failure causing unplanned downtime. Maintaining your outdated system will become increasingly expensive and many manufacturers don’t support alternative refrigerants due to the problems they cause. Further to this, there are no lifecycle cost reductions or other financial benefits available to you if using a drop in refrigerant.

Many items of equipment designed for R22 are now obsolete, it will therefore become increasingly difficult to source parts in the event of a system failure.

With our experience of all three R22 replacement options, Filta Refrigeration stand by our statement that the best options remain either full or partial replacement.

Expert R22 Replacement

Our professionally qualified, friendly team of engineers provide cost efficient services to suit all business requirements throughout the UK. Call our head office today for more information on the range of personalised maintenance we provide on 01788 524341.

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