R22 is one of many refrigerants used use in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment which is classified as an Ozone Depleting Substance (also known as an HCFC refrigerant). The EU and governments have been regularly introducing new legislation since 2008 designed to gradually phase out the use of those refrigerants that most damage the ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
The R22 phase-out began in 2009 and was completed in 2015. From 1st January 2015 it has been illegal to use recycled or reclaimed R22 to service refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
The continuing use of HFC refrigerants is restricted by the EU’s new F Gas Regulations which come into force on 1st January 2015. These regulations now place restrictions on the use of other HFC refrigerants, for example R404A, according to their Greenhouse Warming Potential (GWP).
These regulations mean that businesses:
- are responsible for organising leak checking, record keeping and labelling of all equipment that uses F-gases.
- need to carefully plan with future legislation in mind any project that involves commissioning systems that use F-gases, such as air conditioning or refrigeration.