Important EPA Guidelines for Replacements for R22
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued following guidelines for the replacement of R22 refrigerant with alternative refrigerants:
1) For any particular refrigeration and air conditioning application, the EPA maintains the list of the refrigerants that can be used as the alternatives for R22.
2) Many individuals and the companies are under the impression that the alternative refrigerants for R22 can be used directly in the existing machinery or refrigeration equipment. However, EPA has made it clear that the refrigerants being used as the alternatives for R22 cannot be generally used directly in the existing equipment as “drop-in" replacement without making the modifications in the system.
3) Another important thing is that if the alternative refrigerants are being used in the converted system (old system converted to use the substitute refrigerant) the personnel operating these equipment should be trained in installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment.
4) If you are planning switch over to the new alternative refrigerant for R22 consider the cost of the refrigerant, the availability of the refrigerant and also the cost of the new equipment required for the switch over. Make sure that the alternative you are considering is compatible with the application you are looking for and that it meets the manufacturer instructions and warranty conditions.
5) One of the most important things is to be sure that the substitute refrigerant is indeed non-ozone depleting refrigerant. If you don’t have much knowledge about it visit EPA website: www.epa.gov/ozone to make sure. It is not necessary that the technicians servicing non-ozone depleting refrigerants for appliances are certified especially for these refrigerants, though the certification for servicing on CFC and HCFC refrigerants is required.
6) Those who are replacing R22 with new refrigerant should note that it is illegal to intentionally release CFC and HCFC refrigerants and also alternative refrigerants to the atmosphere.
7) When switching over to the new refrigerant and disposing the older refrigeration or air conditioning equipment, recover the old refrigerant R22 to protect the ozone layer and comply with the law. The recovered gas can be reclaimed using specialized machinery or it can be destroyed. The recovered R22 refrigerant cannot be sold to the other user.