R22 Phase Out EU Law Timeline 2014
If you own an air conditioning system that uses a R22 refrigerant you should be well aware of the upcoming blanket ban. You will be breaking the law if you continue to use your air conditioning system. The EU has been slowly changing the law to phase out the ozone depleting R22. If you feel a bit lost, Breeze Installations have kindly put together recap of each stage of the R22 phase out. It explains how and when the law is changing, where we are now, and what action you need to take if you still have an air conditioning system running on (nearly illegal) R22 refrigerant.
Why is R22 Refrigerant Being Banned?
R22 refrigerant gas is a type of hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs.) HCFCs have been shown to deplete the ozone layer as a greenhouse gas. One of the primary uses of HCFCs is in residential air conditioning units. The EU law has changed to protect the environment, ozone layer and reduce greenhouse gases by banning R22 refrigerant.
Stage 1 of the R22 Phase Out : 2003 to 2010
The crackdown on air conditioning systems that run on R22 refrigerant began in 2003. The first stage of EU law for the R22 phase out was a total ban on the production of any new R22 air conditioning systems in the EU.
This means that if you still own an air conditioning system that runs on R22 it is at least 10 years old. With the average life of a system being 15 years, it may be time to remove and replace your air conditioning system.
Stage 2 of the R22 Phase Out : 2010 – 2015
From 1st January 2010, the second stage of the R22 phase out took effect. This made it unlawful to top up and maintain an air conditioning system with VIRGIN R22 refrigerant. However it was still legal to use reclaimed or recycled R22 refrigerant. This made the price of recycled R22 rise dramatically as demand was high. Many air conditioning system owners took the plunge and had new systems installed – knowing it was just a matter of time until they would need their systems replaced anyway when the full ban came into effect.
We are here at the moment! The next stage of the R22 phase out may require your undivided attention if you still have an air conditioning system running on R22 refrigerant.
Stage 3 of the R22 Phase Out : Jan 2015
From the 1st January 2015, the third stage of the R22 phase out (EC Ozone Regulation No. 1005/2009) will be enforced. This is going to be a complete ban on using R22 refrigerant in any form. It will be completely unlawful for anyone to refill an air conditioning system using reclaimed or recycled R22 refrigerant gas. In fact it will be even illegal to store the R22 gas in any way. Air conditioning systems using R22 will be completely unserviceable.
For owner/operators who are concerned about meeting their responsibilities, Breeze Installations can offer a wide range of technical expertise and commercial guidance about the R22 phase out. We can offer you affordable, environmentally friendly options for your replacement system. Follow us on Facebook for updates of our work.