The EU regulation 2037/2000/EC has banned the use of virgin HCFC refrigerants (R22) since 1/1/2010.
As a result, in the event of a fault or even just a refrigerant leak in an air conditioning system using R22, it is no longer possible to recharge the system.
With small to medium-sized installations in particular, the most cost effective solution is to replace the entire air conditioning system.
This is because of the following reasons:
New generation outdoor units with R410A are much more efficient, with lower electric power consumption;
They are quieter and offer more effective air filtration;
Taking advantage of tax rebates offered for replacing winter air conditioning systems will minimise the time necessary to recoup the initial outlay.
The main problem in replacing an existing air conditioner using R22 fluid with a system using new R410A refrigerant is posed by the residue of chlorine and mineral oils remaining in the existing piping onto which the air conditioner system containing R22 was connected.
This residue is extremely harmful for the new air conditioner, and unless the circuit is flushed out extremely thoroughly, may degrade the new oil and/or cause obstructions in the refrigerant circuit and, as a result, lead to system malfunctions. Moreover, the diameters and thickness of the existing piping may not be compatible with the new units.