Air con unit

R22 Refrigerant Replacement

Since 1st January 2015, all types of R22 refrigerant used in air conditioning systems have been banned from use. This means it is now illegal to use R22 in any form – whether virgin, recycled or reclaimed.

Learn more about legal requirements

Why was R22 gas banned?

This is due to the fact that R22 is an HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) gas, which has ozone-depleting potential. Essentially when it is released into the world, it reacts and causes damage to the ozone.

What does this mean for air conditioning systems?

If your system still currently uses R22 refrigerant, it is still legal to operate it. However it is illegal to repair / regas the refrigerant circuit with R22 If a refrigerant leak occurs. This means that if there are any issues with the refrigeration circuit of your air conditioning system, it is not possible to fix them. You will have to install a new unit filled with superseded refrigerants in order to keep using air conditioning in your property.


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What do you need to do if your system uses R22 gas?

If your air conditioning system still operates using R22 gas, there are a range of options available to you in order to replace it:

Total system replacement

Total system R22 refrigerant replacement means exactly what it says, it is the removal of every aspect of your old air conditioning systems and replacing them with a brand new one. This includes all pipes, the indoor and outdoor units, and electrical wiring.

The benefits of this is that you get a far more modern and energy efficient system. Newer air conditioning equipment works up to 50% more efficiently, meaning lower running costs over the course of its life. Whilst the initial outlay for the system may seem expensive, in the long run you will be saving money by using an air conditioner that has a far better performance.

As well as this, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact on the world by moving over to a more modern system. Newer systems that use alternative refrigerants such as R410a and R32 have a lower impact on the ozone layer and global warming, therefore reducing your carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency.

Unit replacement

An alternative to installing a new system is to just replace certain parts of the system, in order to bring it inline with modern standards to make it more energy efficient. This can include replacing the indoor and outdoor units, but keeping the refrigerant pipework and interconnecting cabling.

This option offers a cheaper initial cost, as you will not be replacing as much equipment and the process isn’t as labour intensive. It also offers savings through having a more energy efficient air conditioning unit with better performance.


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Get in touch

If you aren’t sure about whether your system uses R22 refrigerant, or if you would like advice on the best replacement option for your business, please get in touch by giving us a call on 01403 791307. We also offer maintenance services for any air conditioning systems that don’t require a full replacement.

Posted in Air Conditioning.