From 1st January 2015 it will be illegal to top up air conditioning systems with R22.
R22 refrigerant is a hydrochloroflurocarbon gas commonly used in air conditioning systems pre-dating 2004 (or 2001 for larger systems) which is being phased out due to its ozone depleting potential.
R22 has not been legal for use in new air conditioning equipment since 2004, and in 2010 the use of new R22 to maintain existing air conditioning equipment was banned in all EU Member States, allowing only recycled R22 to be used.
The law changes again from 1st January 2015 when it will become be illegal to top up air conditioning systems with R22, whether new or recycled.
The changes will affect any organisation (or individual) that has air conditioning equipment containing R22. There will be two options for such equipment:
1. it will need to be replaced by new air conditioning equipment; or
2. an alternative legal refrigerant will need to be used (which may also involve a replacement of parts of the current air conditioning system).
One of our valued clients, Scotford & Teasdale, is already working with a number of businesses to develop plans for a successful phase-out strategy and offer a “no charge, no obligation” service to assist businesses in making informed decisions on the best way forward.
From a legal perspective, both landlords and tenants will need to look at the wording in their lease to establish who will meet the expense of carrying out any work required. Please contact any of our commercial property team for further advice.