Thinking about it, the insurance thing is what has me...... Would they pay?
That is a reason alone to not do it.
I don't use the hydrocarbon replacements in any jobs due to the insurance issue. I do use the ES R-12 replacement in my personal vehicle (I'm already carrying around 15 gallons of gasoline...I can't possibly see getting worked up about 15 oz. of propane/isobutane. ).
However...I think we'll see more of the hydrocarbons in the future. I don't think their safety record is actually any worse than natural gas appliances, propane grills, welding gases, etc. But there's a ton of money in HFC refrigerants and inexpensive drop-in replacements for (H)CFC refrigerants mean lots of existing equipment that can stay in service without spending a ton of money on a retrofit. I honestly think the opposition to HC refrigerants is more about money than safety. Also the high GWP of HFC refrigerants is eventually going to prompt a search for something new. It will be interesting to see the environmental lobby fight with the chemical and equipment manufacturer lobby over the replacement for HFCs.
Follow the money...
Also, the enforcement actions by the EPA are purely about how ES is marketing their refrigerants (which is pretty much the extent of their authority here). Notice ES has changed a few product names and walk around the substitute refrigerant issue by saying 22a isn't approved in the US but is used a drop-in for R22 in Europe.
Last edited by mattjm; 07-29-2013 at 03:21 PM.
Reason: added comments on EPA enforcement action
The car companies are starting to use HC refrigerants in the new cars. R134a is being banned in Europe and is being replaced with hfo-1234f. Mercedes is making a big stink about it and GM is starting to introduce it in some of their cars in the US. I guess my take on it is this. At some point, especially in automotive, you will develop a leak in an AC system. I just don't see how using a HC refrigerant will be a good thing. Its not like the condensers, evaporators and seals are "better made" than even 20 years ago. Look at all the problems with leaking coils with new systems after a year or two of operation. Like you said, its all about the money.
Originally Posted by mattjm
Lack of airflow destroys compressors.