The EC Ozone Regulation (No. 1005/2009) was introduced to control the R22 to phase out the remaining uses of all Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) such as R22 refrigerant. This has led to a total ban on its use for service and maintenance by the start of the year 2015.
ODS can result in greater UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface which is harmful for humans, animals and plants, leading to increases in skin cancer, cataracts and a reduction in food crop yields. Modern alternatives such as HFC’s, which include R410A, do not have the same ozone depleting potential (ODP).
The continual rise of energy costs also mean everyone involved in the build environment is focusing on energy use and consumption and this is where modern equipment can really help to support the replacement.
Since 31st December 2009, the use of virgin refrigerant for servicing and maintenance has been banned.
From 31st December 2014, there will be a total ban on all recycled and reclaimed R22 thereby making it impossible to service and maintain air conditioning systems that operate on R22. Provision should be made to prevent leakages of old refrigerant on currently operational air conditioning systems.
Companies will be breaking the law and will face site shut down and/or fines if R22 regulations are not adhered to. Therefore, replacing old air conditioning systems with modern alternatives is essential.