A warning to the HVAC sector about refrigerant fluids without origin.
The Brazilian HVAC – “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning” sector –, registers greater market availability of poor quality refrigerant fluids, because, in Brazil, there is no efficient inspection entry program of these products in the country. Adulterated fluids can bring disastrous consequences for systems such as: low performance, increased energy consumption and even serious damage to the compressor, but mainly they can jeopardize the health safety of professionals.
Refrigerant fluid is critical in refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heating systems; it’s the chemical compound that provides cold or heat to equipment, therefore, it needs to have appropriate physical and chemical properties. The professional who follows good refrigeration practices must ensure that it’s compatible with the components, and will work within the pressures and temperatures needed to achieve the desired performance for optimal equipment operation.
During system fluid charging very low temperatures occur, which may cause frostbite when in contact with skin. They should always be kept in their original packaging which is made of material appropriate to withstand the product’s pressure, without rupturing.
At the time of purchase make sure that the product is suitable for its intended application.
The label must contain:
- name or brand;
- origin (domestic or imported);
- corporate name and manufacturer ID number;
- address and telephone number;
- compositional characteristics;
- lot number and net weight.
Check condition of the packaging for leaks or damage to the seal and labels;
Get to know the refrigerant fluid’s origin by evaluating the manufacturer;
Require the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Besides the user, the environment is also a potential victim of a poor quality refrigerant fluid if packages aren’t stored in appropriate locations. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which must be delivered by the supplier together with the product, provides information about proper storage, for example, avoiding light, sun and excessive moisture exposure. Refrigerant fluids have no expiration date, provided they are stored properly.
GUARANTEE OF ORIGIN
Another precaution to be taken is in relation to intellectual property of refrigerant fluids. Some blends, especially those formed by HFCs: R-404A, R-407C and R-410A, have patents in several countries. A company that sells products without having the right to market them may suffer penalties since the sale of refrigerant liquids without proper authorization is a crime. (Read more about Registering in the Federal Technical Registry of IBAMA)
Be suspicious of lower than market prices and make sure the company that’s selling the product has a responsible technician, has a license to sell the fluid and provides customer support. On purchasing refrigerant fluids all product documentation must be demanded from the supplier.
When any refrigeration system part fails, users look for the equipment’s manufacturers, but if the source of the problem is the poor quality of the refrigerant fluid, nothing can be done.
GLOBAL REFRIGERANT MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE
Refrigerant fluid leakage during equipment maintenance is the largest source of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions that cause global warming. For this reason three of the world’s leading refrigeration associations: Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy; Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); and the Brazilian Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating Association (ABRAVA), announced in October, in New York, during the General Climate Conference of the United Nations General Secretariat, the creation of the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative. This initiative aims to educate the industry’s global supply chain on ways to improve refrigerant management and reduce leaks and emissions during services. Read more here.