R22 Update

As of 2016, Australia has largely phased out the import and manufacture of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) - four years ahead of the schedule required under the Montreal Protocol.

R22 refrigerant is by far the major HCFC used. The volume of HCFC able to be imported in 2016 is less than 4% of that we could import in 2010.

But don’t panic.

Apart from the large stocks of virgin R22 in the country as well as some reworked recovered R22, there are a number of alternative refrigerants available to replace R22 in existing systems. Actrol currently have two dedicated replacement refrigerants for R22: R427A and R438A. They differ in a number of ways:

  R427A R438A
Components R-32/125/143A/134A R-32/125/134A/600/601A
Flammability A1 (non flammable) A1 (non flammable)
Toxicity A1 (non toxic) A1 (non toxic)
GWP 1828 1890
System Capacity    
Oil Change

A single oil change to achieve a recommended 85% POE by volume

Manufacturer claims most applications do not require an oil change
Critical Temperature 86.8°C 85.3°C


Whilst R427A requires a single oil change, the critical temperature is higher and the system capacity is higher. When the critical temperature of a refrigerant is approached, the ef ciency of the system is severely compromised. System capacity is also crucial to achieve COP. Both replacement refrigerants are unlikely to quite achieve the ef ciency of the original R22 but the higher the value of the system capacity, the less the system is compromised.

Furthermore, should the oil not return when using R438A an oil change to POE is needed or else the life of the compressor could be compromised and/or other issues may develop.

For the sake of a simple oil change Actrol recommends R427A as the premium alternative due to its superior attributes resulting in better performance.