The FBI has released a new safety warning, and the potential threat is none other than refrigerant. As polluting coolants are phased out of the market, illegal air conditioning coolants have been popping up on the market, and according to new reports, these coolants may actually be incredibly dangerous.The FBI is now warning people that coolants that haven’t been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency may be more dangerous than just being a potential threat to the environment — some of these illegal coolants contain propane, which is extremely flammable and can explode when placed near heat sources. ABC News reports that coolant-related explosions have been rare — but “rare” still implies that explosions have, in fact, been caused by dangerous refrigerant products.The surge in unapproved coolants has been caused by the decision to phase out the chemical R-22, which has been used in many coolants in the past. Research has shown that this chemical destroys the ozone layer, and there is currently a global ban on it.
Although readers may feel alarmed reading about “exploding air conditioners,” it’s important to note that the illegal coolant is causing dangerous situations, and not the air conditioning units themselves. Residents who use air conditioning units often are encouraged to use only coolants which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to keep their homes safe and cool this summer.
“This is yet another reason why you should make sure that your HVAC company is licensed and bonded,” says Chrisi Cummings,Office Manager at Vitt Heating & A/C Co.