Who am I and how did I test this product?
I own a very busy cafeteria where I sell drinks, fast food and other beverages to my customers. For more than 10 years, I have been using the R-22 refrigerant to charge my A/C units on my air conditioning and heat pump systems that are especially helpful during the summer and winter seasons. This super coolant is of great quality and has served me well despite being hazardous to the environment and facing discontinuation by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pros of R-22 Refrigerant
|Very low boiling point||The R-22 refrigerant has a boiling point of -40.8 degrees Celsius (-41.4˚F). This feature makes it ideal for the low temperatures applications like industrial refrigeration, air conditioning systems domestic freezers, and liquefaction of gases, among others.|
|Non-toxic and non-flammable||R-22 refrigerant contains no additives and therefore very safe to use both for domestic and industrial purposes.|
|Great water absorbing capacity||This feature is very important in low temperature applications. At least, the water in the R-22 refrigerant would have minimal effects on the refrigeration system.|
|Lower compressor displacement||A system using the R-22 refrigerant produces an approximate of 65% more refrigeration capacity than any other common refrigerant.|
|Lower power consumption||Due to the low compressor displacement exhibited by the refrigerant, the refrigeration capacity becomes higher and more efficient. This leads to minimal consumption of power, a crucial factor in the large industrial applications, as well as domestic use.|
Cons of the R-22 Refrigerant
|Ozone depletion||The R-22 refrigerant is a hydro-chrolorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that contributes to the ozone depletion. According to the Montreal Protocol, this product is a greenhouse gas and contains Chlorine compound that is a burning hole in the O₃ layer. Its global warming potential is about 1810 times as destructive as carbon dioxide.|
|Expensive||The refrigerant has become more expensive than it was initially. For instance, you can pay for it at about $500 per 30 pound cylinder.
This is because R-22 was phased out in 2010 and therefore no new refrigeration or air conditioning equipment is to use HCFCs since then. The refrigerant is only available to service the old systems. Due to the discontinuation of the HCFC products, there has been a reduced supply of the R-22 refrigerant and therefore an increase in the cost of the same.
|Limited servicing time and repair||The R-22 refrigerant can be recharged up to 01/01/2020. From then, the manufacturers are to cease from producing any more of the R-22 refrigerant because of its implications.
People owning the R-22 equipment will be forced to purchase more environmental friendly refrigerants as replacements.
|Certification before purchasing||In order to purchase the R-22 refrigerant, one has to be 608 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency for eligibility.|
Managing the R-22 Equipment if you already have one
Following the discontinuation of the R-22 refrigerant by the Montreal Protocol and the Environmental protection Agency, there have been shortages of the product as they can’t be manufactured any more. The demand has become higher than the production rate. From the beginning of 2010 the production of R-22 refrigerants was discontinued. In 2015, repairs made to their associated units were also abolished. By 2020, there will be completely nothing to do with this product, and it would be out of the market.
A refrigerant is always in a closed system which cycles from gas to liquid repetitively. Because of this, it is so rare for the refrigerant to run low or be completely exhausted. However, if this happens, it is wise to consider other facts that might be causing the low levels rather than refilling the equipment with a new refrigerant. These facts may include leakages in the unit. Failure to check on this may make you spend a lot of money purchasing the R-22 refrigerant when all you need is to repair the unit. All the same, if you can’t purchase the refrigerant for the whole unit due to the high costs incurred, then it is more sensible for you to buy a new machine with a different refrigerant type i.e. the R-410A. R-410A has been approved as better, functions at a higher pressure and is environmental friendly compared to the R-22.
Summarily, if your R-22 A/C type refrigerant seems too expensive to manage, just switch to the R-410A. It has now become so expensive to maintain with discontinued repairs, no servicing, and now, recharging waiver period is coming to an end by 2020. If you don’t own one, don’t also think of purchasing it anywhere or from anyone since it will be of little use to you and a great burden.
Recent or Future R-22 Refrigerant Pricing
On checking out the price of the R-22 on Amazon and E-Bay , the average pricing is between $500 to $800 for a 30 pound cylinder of R-22 refrigerant. Averagely, the price of the 30 pound cylinder is about $650 or $700 when rounded off to the nearest $100.
$700 / 30 pounds of refrigerant per cylinder = $23.33 per pound.
A standard amount of refrigerant required per unit is between 2 to 5 pounds according to the specifications of the machine. Anything more than 5 tons is for industrial applications. Typical home air conditioning units are between 1 to 5 tons.
If you have a 3 ton unit with completely no refrigerant in it; refilling it may require 4 pounds of refrigerant. That is, 4 x 3 = 12 pounds. Each pound of refrigerant costs $23.33; therefore, 12 pounds will cost $279.96 to completely fill up the unit.