R 22 refrigerant gas is on the way out and nearing end of phase out period

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Courtesy of Verisae

R 22 refrigerant gas, widely used in numerous industrial applications, is being phased out. As the government mandated phase out continues, those facilities that have equipment using this chemical are rushing to impose measures that enable them to meet the requirements of the law.

Numerous substances are suspected of causing great harm to our climate, the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. R 22 refrigerant gas has been on the list of substances to phase out, since the Montreal protocol and US Clean Air Act moved to eliminate hydrochlorofluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons found in many types of refrigeration and AC cooling systems. Other countries are following suit.

R 22 is found in a variety of commercial refrigeration units, HVAC systems and air conditioning systems. The known hydrochlorofluorocarbons can be found in the equipment commonly used in a number of industries, such as hotels and restaurants, office buildings, hospitals, retail supermarkets, food processing warehouses and manufacturers.

Should R 22 refrigerant gas leak into the environment or be otherwise released into the air it has the potential to cause damage. The EPA insists that regular businesses and municipalities track usage and submit reports on a regular basis to enable them to better manage this gas. As complying with these regulations can be very time-consuming, companies are turning to software to automatically track and report. Penalties await those who fail to comply.

R 22 will no longer be made or used in new equipment shortly and eco-friendly refrigerants are being developed to serve as alternatives. Those companies with equipment that still use the refrigerant are not required to go out and buy a new system, but they are required to follow very strict guidelines as to the procedure for routine maintenance and repair.

Chemical manufacturers have up until January 1, 2020 to produce R 22 for existing systems. Following that date the substance can no longer be manufactured. Only refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled may then be used in existing systems.

R 22 refrigerant gas, as a greenhouse gas has been around for over four decades. Just as natural greenhouse gases help stabilize the world's temperature, man-made chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons increase the average temperature around the globe. If no action were taken the makeup of the planet would change and eventually cause major hardship and devastation.

There are number of alternatives to R 22 refrigerant gas. These include R-410A, R404A and R407c, some of which are already in use in new refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, and found to be more energy efficient. The EPA specifies approved alternatives and facility managers can check with them for information.

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