Essentially, developments in heat pump technology have rendered older forms of air conditioning inferior in terms of efficiency, which has a direct impact on the CO2 emissions of the buildings which still have them.
The Government is, therefore, enforcing the removal and replacement of lower temperature refrigeration systems using R22 by 2015 as part of their campaign to tackle global warming.
Studies showed that the gases they emit have a detrimental effect on the ozone layer resulting in excessive UV levels and environmental damage.
These refrigerants are widely used throughout process chiller and industrial refrigeration plants, so air conditioning legislation changes will affect any company that needs to use R22 refrigeration.
2015 might sound like a long way off but because most commercial air conditioning units fitted in the UK before 2001 use R22, there is still a lot of work to be done to replace them with zero ODP refrigerants.
While these changes are clearly necessary, they will have a serious impact on businesses needing to replace old air conditioning or heating systems; in particular those who rely on R22 refrigeration on a daily basis.
Good news for the planet and your pocket These refrigerants are proven to be more energy efficient than the R22 variety, making them the wiser, most cost-effective choice for companies.
Also, 100% first year tax allowances are available for companies spending money on technologies and products listed on the Government website: http://www.
By investing in these products you can benefit from tax-free relief on your investment much earlier than you would otherwise.
So if you're one of the many businesses facing this dilemma, relax.
There's still time and with a little careful planning you can make the transition relatively easily.
The key lies in smooth project management of the removal of the R22 refrigerant and professional installation of a replacement system.
Managing the change First things first, you don't have to overhaul your system right away, at enormous cost and great inconvenience.
Indeed, most R22 refrigeration units are only one third of their way through their lifespan so you can choose to wait until your existing system needs upgrading, then choose to phase it out, rather wasting money on repairs or maintenance.
In accordance with these changes, each new factory build or extension will use ammonia and R404A, refrigerants with zero ozone depleting potential.
Some transition issues you'll need to think about: oIdentifying suitable professional advice oHow best to ensure effective and efficient use of existing equipment oInclude provisions for the new refrigerants in the construction of any new buildings oHow to minimise disruption to ongoing operations oChoose a suitable time to do it oHow to ensure the careful and safe removal of the R22, its integral chemicals, and those contained in the new refrigerants oMandatory registration of engineers onto the ACRIB register, and Companies onto the REFCOM register The benefits of energy saving efficiency Ammonia, R404A and R407c are the environmentally friendly refrigerants that will be incorporated in new equipment.
The great things is that these refrigerants are also proven to be more energy efficient than R22 and are therefore the cost-effective choice for the long term.