MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) launched a consumer safety awareness campaign to warn Canadians about the risks of using flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants in home and office air conditioning systems. Based on the theme “Some Jobs Are Best Left to the Experts,” the campaign provides the public with important safety information about do-it-yourself (DIY) kits containing flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants that are being offered by major retailers to home and business owners.

In the news release announcing the program, HRAI President Warren Heeley stated, “Retailers are aggressively selling these DYI kits that contain the propane used in a BBQ tank as a replacement refrigerant for home or commercial air conditioning systems. With the air conditioning season nearly here, Canadians need to know that flammable refrigerants used in home or office air conditioning systems can create a serious fire and explosion risk that could result in injury or death.”

The campaign covers the risk factors that consumers should be fully aware of when considering the purchase of these hydrocarbon refrigerant kits. In addition to the potential for fire and explosion, these refrigerants are not approved for use in air conditioning equipment already installed in the home or office and their use could cause environmental damage if the existing refrigerants in these systems are not properly recovered.

The bottom line of the campaign asks consumers whether they want to use a product in their home or office that increases the risk of fire, explosion, and environmental damage, or does it make more sense to use a qualified technician trained in the safety and environmental aspects of air conditioning systems.

The news release has been circulated to media across Canada. An article on the program will also be included with News Canada and the message will also be included on the consumer portion of the HRAI website. HRAI members should also be aware that the message on hydrocarbons will be forwarded to each member for inclusion on their respective websites.

For more information, contact Warren Heeley at 800-267-2231 ext. 227 or email warren.heeley@hrai.ca.

Publication date:06/27/2011