EPA issues propane-related warning about air conditioners

July 22, 2014 By    

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air-conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor vehicle and home air-conditioning systems.

According to EPA, a number of refrigerants with “22a” or “R-22a” in the name contain highly flammable hydrocarbons, such as propane. These refrigerants are being marketed to consumers seeking to recharge existing home and motor vehicle air-conditioning systems that were not designed to use propane or other flammable refrigerants. The refrigerants were never been submitted to EPA for review of their health and environmental impacts, and they’re not approved for use in existing air-conditioning systems.

EPA says it is investigating instances in which propane-based refrigerants were marketed and used as substitutes. The agency also says it will take enforcement actions where appropriate.

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