For many years now, technicians have been using a variety of flammable refrigerants in their pure state, or as a component of a blend. Using a small amount of a hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant blended with other refrigerants to improve oil return has been a common practice in the air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) industry for many years. ICOR brought this practice into the mainstream by adding an HC component to its proprietary direct replacement refrigerants, thus helping refrigerant users and equipment owners avoid a system oil change. The added HC allows HCFC and HFC refrigerant blends to be compatible with all standard refrigeration oils.
Since the CFC/HCFC phaseout began, technicians have been exposed to a great deal of new refrigerant terminology including the term "drop-in," which is a surrogate word used for an alternative refrigerant or direct replacement. The term “drop-in” is often misinterpreted to mean that it is OK to drop one type of refrigerant directly into a system containing a totally different refrigerant. The terms “drop-in,” “direct replacement,” and “alternative refrigerant,” describe refrigerants that can be used in systems originally designed for use with a different refrigerant, and could be done so with limited system modifications. (ICOR’s direct replacement for CFC-12, HOT SHOT® [R-414B] is an example. Hot Shot has proven to work very well in systems originally designed for use with R-12, but it was never meant to be mixed with R-12.)