UK – A recent survey of air conditioning contractors and installers has revealed that the R22 ban is continuing to impact on businesses eight months after it was first enforced. The survey shows that contractors believe that the ongoing reluctance of customers to update their AC system to a more energy efficient, lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant is impacting on new business opportunities.
After the ban on replacing R22 refrigerant in existing air conditioning systems was introduced in January 2015, Daikin UK decided to undertake a survey of AC contractors and installers to discover just how the ban is impacting on businesses today.

More than half of those surveyed believe the R22 ban is having an adverse effect on their business, with more than a third of all businesses suggesting that 50 per cent of their customers are yet to convert their R22 systems to an alternative refrigerant.

Contributing to the gloom, the majority of installers conceded that their biggest challenge is to persuade customers to change their AC system at this time, with a massive 78 per cent waiting for their existing system to reach its end of life or breakdown before considering a replacement refrigerant.

For those who do decide to change their AC system, the opinions of installers are split, with 23 % believing that energy efficiency is the most important factor, while 23 % also consider that affordability to be a major issue.

The Product Manager of DX for Daikin UK, Martin Passingham, stated, “One of the most important findings of the survey was that only 15 per cent of respondents saw safety as an important consideration, and more than 75 per cent think that R410a and R32 are the most popular alternatives.

“As an industry leader in R22 replacements, it is good to see there is an awareness amongst installers of the highly energy efficient, lower GWP refrigerants such as R410a and R32. It is also good to see that there is a positive attitude from installers towards new, lower GWP refrigerants when considering alternatives to R22.

“At Daikin UK, we are encouraging building owners and managers to seriously consider their R22 replacement options sooner rather than later. As such, AC contractors should be ready to offer replacement options using more energy efficient systems.”