You may have heard that R22 refrigerant is being phased out across the United States, and around the world as well. As commercial HVAC system users, facility managers, and property owners, you must make sure that this phaseout is executed correctly in your businesses. After R22 refrigerant is eliminated, what can you do next?
When Is the R22 Phase-Out Complete?
The process to remove R22 refrigerant began years ago. However, since this refrigerant, also known as freon, was once the gold standard across the industry, banning it has proven difficult. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has declared that R22 will be considered fully illegal on January 1, 2020. That is the final deadline for the phase-out process. Once this date passes, no more R22 refrigerant can be manufactured within the United States, or imported from abroad.
Furthermore, once the deadline has passed, any remaining R22-based systems will be considered obsolete. What this means is that any future repairs, especially those involving refrigerant charging, will also become impractical. But now that these repairs are going to be harder to come by and far more difficult to accomplish, what are some other options you should explore?
What Options Do You Have?
Generally, you will only have three options for addressing your commercial HVAC system and its needs if it still relies on R22. You could choose to:
- Allow your system to break down, and discontinue any preventative maintenance. However, this might not be the most prudent choice, especially if you and your employees are frequently uncomfortable inside your building.
- Perform retrofits and other upgrades so your outdated equipment can use a different coolant. Just remember to have your equipment inspected to determine if this is a possibility.
- Get ahead of the curve and overhaul your entire system. Depending on the age of your system a total replacement might just be the best decision you could make.
What About System Replacements?
It’s understandable if you are reluctant to undergo a system replacement. Replacing larger commercial HVAC systems or air conditioning units can be costly and time-consuming, neither of which the responsible property manager wants to hear. Even so, you shouldn’t wait until some emergency or disaster strikes for it to convince you a system replacement is necessary. If you wait too long, you could be deprived of air conditioning or heating when you need it most. Also, if your business has more than one system, you can have each one replaced over time instead of all at once, which can dramatically reduce the expense of the process.
Crockett Facilities Can Help!
Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers, and facility professionals lower their operating expenses through HVAC preventive maintenance. We can develop a cost-effective, customized preventive maintenance plan for your commercial building that will provide you with peace of mind, improved comfort, and energy savings.
To learn more about the importance of HVAC Preventive Maintenance, please contact us at 202.600.2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our PM contract customers receive priority service with 24/7 emergency service in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.