28 January 2015

R22 Alternatives in Plain English

HCFCs (Hydrochloroflurocarbons) such as R22 are being phased out. The importation of R22 will almost totally cease within 5 years - with quotas rapidly reducing from 2015.

This means that R22 supply will become more expensive and harder to purchase due to lower supply. However the recent changes to legislation and the increase in production levels of R22 alternatives has made them more readily available and less expensive.

 For retrofit there are two main alternatives to R22 available now from Realcold.



Refrigeration, low and medium temperature systems.

For medium and low temperature replacement of R22 (POE oil only or see SUPER CHANGETM information below).

Recommendedfor use on medium and low temperature coolrooms, display cases, ice machines and similar systems.


Air conditioning and refrigeration, high and medium temperature

For medium and high temperature replacement of R22 (Mineral and/or POE oil).

Recommendedfor use on direct expansion domestic and commercial air conditioning, coolrooms, direct expansion chillers, and similar systems. Also use R438A on belt drive systems as it has a lower head pressure than R22.

 Additional Information

When retrofitting from R22 consideration should be given to replace critical seals - as HFCs such as R438A and R407F do not expand elastomers like R22 will. Elastomers are commonly used in shaft seals and Schrader valves etc.


Consider aftermarket products such as SUPER CHANGETM that create a strong compatibility link between mineral/alkylbenzene oils & HFC refrigerants. SUPER CHANGETM allows for a fast & easy conversion from R22, or any mineral/alkylbenzene oil system, to HFC refrigerants, including R438A and POE-based R407F and R407C.


Ask at your REALCOLD branch for details.

When settingSUPERHEATuse the DEW POINT on the PT chart this is the temperature that the last drop of liquid has just boiled in the EVAPORATOR.

When checking systemSUBCOOLINGuse the BUBBLE POINT on the PT chart this is the temperature which the last bit of vapor has condensed in the CONDENSER - bubble point is also used when checking temperature/pressure value of refrigerant in a cylinder.

 All blends (R400 series) should be charged in a liquid state - high glide blends condense and boil at varying temperatures for a set pressure, charging in a liquid state ensures correct composition (liquid/vapor) of refrigerant enters the system.

 Avoid the use of blends in flooded evaporator systems;

 R407C- while a good replacement for R22, it is primarily used in new systems so is not generally considered a retrofit option;

 For more information on refrigerants go to agas.com.au              

For more information on SUPERCHANGETM ask at your local Realcold branch.