June 12, 2013With the phaseout of the refrigerant R-22, dangerous replacements are surfacing. Steer clear of purchasing highly flammable products sold that are listed in a form of 22a Refrigerant, as the gas can burn or even explode when in contact with an ignition source.
There is great concern over the flammability of these products, when used as a refrigerant in air conditioning equipment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) that maintains lists of acceptable refrigerants in listed applications. EPA has issued some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding these R-22a products, click here to read these FAQ’s.
These products could pose significant safety risks to homeowners and technicians. Unknowing homeowners who have used this product may have created an exposure to fire or explosion should a leak be present in the home. Technicians that have not been informed of the use of these products face similar risks in that their service equipment is not designed for these products. Inadvertent mixing of recovered gases may contaminate a contractor’s bulk recovery cylinder forcing disposal of the product in place of reclaiming.
There are many approved replacement refrigerants being marketed today; contractors should carefully consider the products they wish to use. For a list of EPA approved alternate refrigerants for residential air conditioning, click here.
Remember, it is illegal for anyone to intentionally mix refrigerants in equipment or to intentionally vent refrigerant to the atmosphere. Use alternate refrigerants wisely; do not top off a system with an alternate refrigerant.