About Damien

Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

Refrigerant Hazards Can Lead To Serious Problems, So Don't Mess With Hydrocarbon Refrigerants

Phil Laprairie

There are some home projects that lend themselves to do-it-yourself (DIY) mode; however, other jobs are better left to the professionals—especially when significant safety hazards exist. DIY refrigerant-replacement jobs are not recommended because of the severity of the safety risks and the nature of the refrigerant’s makeup and its flammability. Don’t take this project on–no matter what you hear in the media.

Lately, there have been products marketed to the consumer that purport that DIY refrigerant kits are safe and easy-to-use. Nothing could be less true for several reasons:

  • These kits include hydrocarbon refrigerant, a highly flammable material. Coincidentally, this is not the same product that an HVAC technician would use on your A/C system. The risks here are almost self-explanatory, but worth exploring. Consider the process of the heating and air conditioning systems: there is the combustion process that includes flames and igniter systems that give off sparks. Combined with hydrocarbon, you’ve got a recipe for a fire.
  • The use of hydrocarbons in existing systems is not approved by the government or HVAC manufacturers.
  • DIY refrigerant jobs include very real environmental concerns: when a novice attempts to release refrigerant without the proper safety measures in place or without the proper tools, there are risks of ozone exposure and release as well as greenhouse gases. A little bit of escaped refrigerant from one or two DIYers might not cause alarm, but imagine homeowners doing so en masse if they are led to believe it is easy and safe; this could impact the environment in a hugely detrimental way.
  • If you have a warranty on your heating and cooling system, attempting to change refrigerant could void your warranty entirely. You will lose money on a warranty you paid for that would have given you peace of mind about your HVAC system for many years.

There are considerable risks to using DIY hydrocarbon refrigerant kits. Arpi’s implores consumers to leave potentially hazardous expert jobs to the professionals, as our customers’ safety is a priority. Avoid major problems and potential hazards, and give us a call when you have refrigerant concerns.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Arpi’s services Calgary, Alberta. To get started, check out our website or see our special offers.

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