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EPA reminds A/C techs about unapproved refrigerants

Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency has reissued a warning to home improvement contractors and air-conditioning technicians about using flammable refrigerants.

The propane-based refrigerant known as “R-22a” or “22a” is highly flammable. Despite being marketed as an option to recharge existing home or motor vehicle air-conditioning systems, EPA warns that 22a refrigerants are not approved for that use.

Using propane-based refrigerants in an air conditioner not designed for flammable refrigerants can lead to the systems catching fire or exploding, EPA states.

Last year, EPA issued a similar warning about unapproved refrigerants. A widely used refrigerant – R-22 – is being phased out due to its ozone-depleting effects, and EPA has a webpage dedicated to helping professionals and consumers find suitable and safe replacements.