R22 Gas and Equipment information.
Production and import of most ozone depleting substances and equipment containing these substances have been gradually reduced from the early 1990 and Bans on production and importation have been gradually introduced over time. R22, or HCFC-22, is an ozone depleting substance. So what is happening with R22 bulk gas?
From 2016 to 2029, Australia may only import 2.5 ozone depleting tonnes of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) annually, equivalent to about 45 tonnes of R22. This may result in a change in price rise of R22 depending on demand and availability.
From 1 January 2020, R22 imported into Australia can only be used for servicing existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. After 1 January 2030, R22 imports will be banned entirely. From then onwards, the servicing of remaining R22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerant. Some used R22 is already being recovered for re-use but please note, if using recovered R22 ensure it has been returned to the manufacturer’s specification so you can be assured of its quality and suitability.
What’s happening with R22 equipment?
Existing R22 equipment already in Australia will not be banned and does not need to be decommissioned or retrofitted, but new R22 refrigeration and air conditioning equipment can no longer be manufactured or imported into Australia. (apart from some spare parts and in some special circumstances.)
Existing units using R22 can continue to be serviced with R22 and regular servicing can benefit owners through reduced electricity costs and reduced gas replacement costs for leaked gas.
There is no need to transition to an alternative refrigerant or system if your R22 system is in good working order but spare parts may become harder to source as R22 equipment becomes more out of date.
Remember though, new equipment is generally more energy efficient and may have smaller refrigerant charges and lower leakage rates, and therefore can be cheaper to run.