A telling economic case for replacing R22 equipment

Toshiba has carried out a comprehensive cost comparison of an old R22 split air-conditioning system compared to a new R410A system — with overwhelming results. It will be illegal to use bring HCFCs such as R22 for maintenance and servicing from the end of 2009, with a total ban at the end of 2014. In the UK alone, it is estimated that over 100 000 systems have been installed based on R22. The comparison involved a contractor installing two new Toshiba ceiling-cassette systems (model SM1403) on to an existing R22 system and using the old pipework. The cost of supplying and installing the new equipment was £4875. Stripping out the existing services and replacing with new and the same new cassettes would have cost £7800. Calculations of the energy consumption of the new systems and the old R22 system were made hour by hour and day by day from January through to December, taking into account ambient conditions. The R22 fixed-speed systems averaged over £11 a day in January, compared with a little over £4 for the R410A digital inverter system. The payback period from 2008 to 2015 to coincide with the phase out of R22 and this end user’s refurbishment programme was also analysed. The results showed that within two years, the cost of supplying and installing the DI3 replacement technology will have been recovered and that from 2011 to 2015, the end user would be in profit from the installation. Even taking into account the cost of having to replace the pipework, the payback is significant in the fourth year at 14%, steadily rising to a predicted saving of 59% by 2015. Such replacement brings other benefits such as lower ongoing service and maintenance costs and improving the reliability of the system. Toshiba’s digital inverter systems is precharged for 30 m with less than 3 kg of R410A — making it exempt from the annual requirements of the F Gas Directive.
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