Capture Refrigerants During Service
Whether you are on the job or at your home, you are likely to encounter refrigeration and air-conditioning (AC) equipment that you no longer need. Refrigeration/AC equipment has historically used refrigerants and/or insulating foam, which deplete the stratospheric ozone layer and contribute to global climate change. Newer refrigeration/AC equipment is likely to contain ozone-friendly substitutes but still contribute to climate change.
Government regulations are very strict on what you can and can’t do with used refrigerants. The guidelines are set up to avoid the damaging effects refrigerants can have on the atmosphere. In general, if the refrigerant is not contaminated it can be recycled and reused. You can typically take the non contaminated refrigerant back to the wholesaler for exchange. If the refrigerant is contaminated, you’ll need to send it to a reclamation facility. At the reclamation facility they’ll separate the refrigerant into the individual component refrigerants or incinerate it in accordance with EPA guidelines.
EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require technicians who service stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment to follow specific practices meant to maximize recovery and recycling of refrigerants. Different practices apply to different equipment, depending on their size and manufacture. It’s important to make sure that during service, contractors and technicians capture all of the refrigerant so it is not released into the atmosphere.
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