17860812_lUK: A contractor’s survey of over 2,500 customers who bought air conditioners prior to 2004 found that nearly half of the systems are still operating on R22.

Despite the fact that the use of R22 for top up and servicing will be banned from January 1 next year, many companies have still failed to act.

The survey conducted by contractor AirConUK amongst 2,564 businesses on its database who had bought air conditioning systems prior to the ban on new R22 equipment on January 1 2004,  found that while many businesses already have compliant air conditioning systems some of those with pre-2004 units are struggling to come to terms with the new legislation.

Of companies with air conditioning, only 52% said they’ve made the change or were in the process of doing so. 40% said they were aware of the need to change but had done nothing yet and 8% said that they were unaware of the R22 phase-out.

Nearly two-thirds of those who had not phased R22 out of their systems cited cost as the major factor in delaying the work.

“British businesses have known about this change for years now,” said AirConUK.co.uk spokesman Jonathan Ratcliffe, “and leaving things to the last minute is reckless in the extreme.”

Ratcliffe puts the lack of action by many companies down to the economic downturn, which has made them reluctant to invest in changes to their systems.

“We’ve known about the R22 phase-out for older systems for years now. Back then, it seemed a long way away, and troubled financial times mean that business owners are hoping to ride out the storm before paying out for the nec