R22 refrigerant is becoming expensive
"R22 refrigerant is becoming expensive if not scarce, both of which were planned to drive it from the industry. Unfortunately, the industry has not done well at replacing it.
Although there are a multitude of so called replacements, there are issues with most, if not all on the market today.
First, let’s clear up something. There are none designed to “top off” an R22 system, meaning to add a few pounds to cover what was lost through leakage. Yes it is being done, but at what cost? Compressors failing for lack of oil return? System leaks increasing? Reversing valve issues?
All replacement refrigerants that we have looked at to date, require removing what R22 is left in the system, before recharging with the replacement refrigerant. Some manufactures, recommend replacing the oil with a newer synthetic blend and some, the valve cores and filter driers.
Second, all will have an effect on the operation of the system, from reduced capacity, increased run times, lack of oil return to the compressor, etc.
Imagine what we as the service company will have to face, as we try to figure out what is going on with your system and not only what was added to it, but how it was done. In these trying cases, we may have no choice but to remove what is in the system and start over.
The best solution at this point, is to replace equipment that is older than ten years and facing issues with leaking coils or other costly repairs such as compressors. Even that has issues.
The current most popular refrigerant, R410a, is a temporary refrigerant and there is already talk of it being phased out in favor of more natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, currently being used by Coca Cola in some of their vending machines.
Here we go again with the issues of un-matched equipment and resulting expenses."