Published on 28 - May - 2012
Canadian institute hits out at DIY hydrocarbon refrigerant kits
CANADA: The president of Canada's President Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) has hit out at companies selling hydrocarbon refrigerants to the general public as a replacement refrigerant for residential or commercial air conditioning systems.
"With the air conditioning season nearly here, Canadians need to know that flammable refrigerants used in home or business air conditioning systems can create the potential for a serious explosion and fire, which could result in injury or death" stated HRAI president Warren Heeley.
As well as warning of the potential for a leak bringing flammable vapours into contact with an ignition source, he pointed out that the refrigerants used in these DIY kits are not approved for use in air conditioning systems already installed in the home or business and their use could cause environmental damage if the existing refrigerants in these systems are not properly recovered. Improper mixing of existing refrigerant with the DIY hydrocarbon refrigerant could also have a negative impact on the operation of the air conditioning system, potentially causing added repair or replacement expenses to the home or building owner.
Canadian Tire, one of Canada's leading retailers, is currently offering DIY kits for the replacement of R22 in "home and commercial air conditioning systems". Based on the US-produced Red Tek 22a - a hydrocarbon refrigerant said to be designed as a direct replacement for R22 - the kit contains installation hose kit with colour coded gauges an ac oil analyzer and service fittings and three cans of the 22a refrigerant.
Other than a ban on use in large commercial and industrial air conditioning and refrigeration systems, there are no specific regulations governing the use of hydrocarbons as refrigerants in Canada. Most provincial regulations, though, require that service on home and business air conditioning systems be carried out by a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning technician. Hydrocarbon refrigerants are an issue of concern for the provincial and federal authorities and regulations to deal with these safety and environmental concerns are currently being reviewed.
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