NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Using the wrong refrigerant to recharge home air conditioners could put you at risk for fire or injury.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cautions homeowners, refrigerant manufacturers, contractors and air conditioning technicians about the hazards related to the use of propane-based refrigerant in home and vehicle air conditioning systems.
According to the EPA warning, using the unapproved alternative "22a" refrigerants puts homeowners and technicians at risk because it can explode or catch fire.
The EPA is investigating propane-based refrigerants that have been illegally marketed and used as substitutes for HCFC-22 (also known as R-22.)
Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation said "as the summer cooling season gets started, we want to make sure consumers and equipment owners know what is going into their system is safe."
The EPA says on March 17, a Louisiana man was arrested for selling a product called Super-Freeze 22A, a substitute refrigerant composed primarily of propane.
According to reports, few of the individuals who purchased the product realized it was potentially flammable.