With environmental regulations forcing manufacturers to cease production of refrigerant R-22 for new HVAC and refrigeration equipment, what is your plan? Are you considering system replacement? Will you continue using R-22 until the supply runs out despite potential price increases? Interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
Like other refrigerants that have gone away (R502, R12), it will be cost effective for a while to continue to purchase old stock and recycled stuff. It's still cheaper than replacing working equipment.
In a couple of years, when the price of R22 gets too high, we'll all switch to one of the dozen or so drop in replacements that will be competing on the market.
We've been here before. It went smoothly the last time. Check out the refrigerant poster hanging on the wall or on the counter at any HVAC supplier. There are lots of options to choose from and there will be more coming.
20 years fixing, building, and managing facilitiesPreventive Maintenance
I'm agreeing with Ryan,
I've got dozens of R22 units around here.
For a time after R-11 was phased out it actually became less expensive than before, because of all the reclaimed refrigerant that entered the market.
R-407C is considered a drop in replacement for R-22. Reclaim the R-22, do a full system evacuation and clean up like you would after a compressor failure, and recharge with a new dryer, refrigerant, and oil designed for the new refrigerant..
Other options will surely surface. New equipment will probably be purchased with R410A.
The major drawback is that most of the new refrigerants are blends. The correct charging proceedures must be followed and a system that has repeated leaks might have issues due to the changing ratios of each refrigerant in the blend.
For now it is "Run it until it breaks" and see where we are at that time.
The phase out of R22 will not go as smoothly as R11,-R12, because of the vast amount of equipment on the market and the HVAC industries lack of support for recycling. As for drop in replacements, they have a lower ozone depletion factor and a higher green house effect.
We purchased a 5 year supply last year based on history of price increases of other refrigerants phased out on the past. I'ver read getting R22 won't be an issue for a while yet but the ROI on replacement of equipment vs projected cost of R22 didn't make sense.
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