Since 1st January 2015 it is no longer legal to top up or replenish a system using R22 gas.
R22 replacement solutions are available that provide cost-effective and highly energy efficient upgrades for existing R22 systems.
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Hits and misses for Gas Regulation
As we wrote before, it is encouraging for us all to our hard work paying off as the hole in the ozone layer shrinks. The EU F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 represents a major advance in one of the world's most industrialised regions. This legislation applies to all industries using cooling, such as refrigeration, heat pumps or air-conditioning.
The Regulation aims to phase down the use of ozone-depleting HFC and HFO gases by 80% between 2015 and 2030, based on a quota system and will increase the scope of regulations about leak tests, certification, disposal and labelling.
The main challenge that has arisen so far is that many low-GWP refrigerants are flammable. Safe use of these alternatives requires equipment designed for use with flammable refrigerants, appropriate service equipment and working conditions, and installers with F-Gas Regulation certificates and the necessary qualifications.
As the phase-down progresses, higher GWP refrigerants will become more expensive and less common. Low GWP refrigerants are already available; such as R32, classified as A2L (low) in the ISO 817 flammability standards, and Klea407H, launched in 2017. Customers will be relieved to know that prices are competitive with the HFCs and HFOs which are being phased out.
However, recently, another challenge has arisen in the threat of a new trade in illegal refrigerants. A recent survey by AREA found concerns about this among many in the industry. In October 2018, Czech customs seized a shipment of unlicensed HFO refrigerant and it is easy to see how similar incidents could occur with the intention of circumventing the Regulation.
With so much progress made, it's in everybody's best interests to see this project through, especially as governments around the world start to look to further legislature to halt global warming following the IPCC's damning report. If you need advice or have any questions, we would be happy to help.
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