When to Repair, Convert, or Replace Your R-22 Existing System

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The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus is credited with coining the saying, “Change is the only constant in life.” While Heraclitus probably didn’t have commercial refrigeration in mind when he said that, it still applies to our industry.

Any business that deals with commercial/industrial refrigeration or cold storage will be facing some big changes in the years ahead when it comes to the refrigeration equipment and refrigerants they’ll be using in the future. What’s more, that future isn’t all that far away. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have already mandated changes that will affect energy consumption and the phasing out of some commonly used refrigerants.

The new  EPA refrigerant requirements for Reach-in units, Ice Machines, Walk-in units and Supermarket Refrigeration systems can be found here.  These changes make it extremely important to keep the following information in mind if your company uses any of these kinds of refrigeration.

R-22 refrigerant: If you have R-22 systems consider developing a strategy for when to Repair, Convert, or Replace. You can download our R-22 Refrigerant Phase-Out check list to understand the low GWP refrigerant and other system selection options available to you to reduce both your first and life cycle costs (including maintenance, repair, and utility costs).The graphic below shares Cost vs Energy Savings for a sample Walk in cooler with the newest technology. This can help you determine if the smart solution for your company is to repair, convert, or replace your existing system.

Refrigerant Leaks:  Leaks matter and can be problematic and expensive. It’s imperative that you make sure you have a tight system through proper maintenance and timely repair. According to the EPA’s Green Chill research, the average supermarket had two to four refrigeration racks charged with approximately 3,500 pounds of refrigerant. Of that, approximately 25 percent (875) is lost each year to leaks. That’s costly enough, but in addition, the EPA is actually authorized to assess fines of up to $37,500 per day for any violations of their new policy. That could put a company right out of business.

Renovations: If you are considering renovating your commercial refrigeration system consider that your initial cost is only 25% of the total life cycle costs for owning a commercial refrigeration system. So it’s wise to consult a design build refrigeration provider. Take a look at how Enervise can help you with a retrofit project—and check out our Design Build guarantee that will give you the confidence that your project will deliver the results you want and need.

Not only will you be in compliance with EPA standards, but you’ll also run operations more efficiently. The graphic you see here demonstrates the Cost Vs Energy Savings for a sample Walk-in cooler that uses the newest technology.

As a slightly more modern philosopher said, “The times, they are a-changing.” Make sure that your refrigerant dependent facility adapts to those changes with systems that will ensure compliance—and save you money.