Newsline / Refrigerants & Reclaim

EPA Warns of Unapproved Refrigerants

Refrigerants Pose Potential Fire Hazard for Homeowners, Technicians

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning homeowners, propane manufacturers and sellers, home improvement contractors, and air conditioning technicians of potential safety hazards related to the use of propane or other unapproved refrigerants in home air conditioning systems.

The EPA is currently investigating instances where propane has been marketed and used as a substitute for HCFC-22 (R-22), a widely used refrigerant in home air conditioning systems.

Home air conditioning systems are not designed to handle propane or other similar flammable refrigerants. The use of these substances poses a potential fire or explosion hazard for homeowners and service technicians.

The EPA said it is aware of incidents that have occurred both overseas and in the U.S. where individuals have been injured as a result of the use of propane and other unapproved refrigerants in air conditioning systems. The agency said it is investigating and will take enforcement actions where appropriate. Other names for these unapproved refrigerants include R-290, 22a, 22-A, R-22a, HC-22a, and CARE 40.

At this time, EPA has not approved the use of propane or other hydrocarbon refrigerants in any type of air conditioner. Homeowners and technicians are strongly recommended to limit use of propane or other hydrocarbons to only appliances specifically designed for these substances and that are properly marked to alert technicians that the equipment contains a flammable substance.

EPA has approved the use of propane as a substitute refrigerant for R-22 in industrial-process refrigeration systems and in new, stand-alone retail food refrigerators and freezers that are specifically designed to use flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants.

R-22 is being phased out of production and importation under the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty ratified by every country in the world designed to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances. EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program has already listed numerous refrigerants with improved environmental, health, and safety profiles, and continues to evaluate other refrigerants that can be used to replace R-22 and other ozone depleting substances.

Publication date: 7/15/2013 

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Joseph Groh

Joseph Groh, an industry veteran boasting 35 years of HVAC experience, discusses the 2008 bicycle accident that cut his career tragically short, and how the Joseph S. Groh Foundation is his way of giving back to the construction trade. Posted on Aug. 22.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 08-25-14 cover

2014 August 25

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Prohibiting HFCs

EPA is proposing a rule that would prohibit some HFCs in select refrigeration applications. Do you agree with this move?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con