MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 27, 2013 /CNW/ - In a further step to increase
public awareness about the risks of using flammable refrigerants in
home and office air conditioning systems, the Heating Refrigeration and
Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is approaching the
provincial Fire Marshal's starting with the Ontario Fire Marshal's
office seeking action on this potentially hazardous product. Fire
services could be at additional risk when responding to home or office
fires if the building has highly flammable hydrocarbon refrigerant in
the air conditioning system.
Mass marketers and retailers are promoting to home and building owners a
hydrocarbon refrigerant "Do-It-Yourself (DIY)" kit as a replacement
refrigerant gas for residential or commercial air conditioning systems.
Unlike the non-flammable refrigerants used by qualified air
conditioning technicians, hydrocarbon refrigerants are made up of a
mixture of propane and isobutene and are extremely flammable similar to
the gas in a barbecue tank.
The use of such a flammable refrigerant in a home or building can create
a serious fire and explosion risk as heating and air conditioning
systems typically involve combustion flames and spark igniters that are
potential ignition sources. A leak in the refrigerant system could
bring flammable vapours in contact with such an ignition source, with
potentially fatal consequences.
"With the air conditioning season nearly here, Canadians need to be
aware 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 Warren Heeley,
President of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute
of Canada (HRAI). "It is time government authorities including
provincial fire services take action on this potential hazard."
In addition to the potential for fire and explosion, 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
Prior to purchasing these hydrocarbon refrigerant DIY kits, home and
business owners should be fully aware of the potential hazards and
liability of using hydrocarbon refrigerants in air conditioning
systems. Is the risk of fire, explosion and environmental damage as
well as the potential degradation of the air conditioning system worth
saving a few dollars? Or are some jobs best left to the experts?
Click on the link for additional information about hydrocarbon refrigerants.
To locate a qualified contractor to service your air conditioning
system, visit www.hrai.ca.
Image with caption: "The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) (CNW Group/The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130527_C2432_PHOTO_EN_27096.jpg
SOURCE: The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)
For further information:
Grace Gravina, Marketing Communications Specialist
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada
905.602.4700 or Toll-free: 1.800.267.2231