The Harsh Consequence of Ignoring The Montreal Protocol

Scott Stanley - Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Nov 18thRefrigerant Services Clean Exchange Thumbnail

The Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol established in 1987 is a main player in the successful story of helping the earth’s ozone layer minimize its depletion. The main mission was to.... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Recovery Services

The Montreal Protocol established in 1987 is a main player in the successful story of helping the earth’s ozone layer minimize its depletion and begin to heal the damage that was done. The main mission was to spread awareness and launch global campaigns that would urge for the removal of the ozone depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons found in your refrigerants from the atmosphere.

When the Montreal Protocol was enacted in 1987, a lot of nations signed an agreement to pull out or phase out the distribution and production of chemicals that are harmful to the ozone.

Paul Newman, the chief atmospheric chemist from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), reports with satisfaction that harmful ozone-damaging substances have declined since the Montreal Protocol was formed.

“We expect [these harmful substances] to continue to decline in the future,” adds Newman.

If people and companies continue to return or exchange their used and old refrigerants, then we hope to return to the same ozone health in the 1980s as soon as the year 2032.


What if there was no Montreal Protocol? 


If the Montreal Protocol was not developed, scientists and NASA specialists predict that more than two-thirds of the earth’s ozone layer will have been damaged or destroyed by 2065.

It is also important to remember the following significant occurrences:

  1. The depletion of the ozone, which is the earth’s natural protection against harmful UV rays, will cause a lot of new health concerns for all life on earth. According to a UV Index, which is used to measure the intensity or strength of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the amount of UV entering our immediate atmosphere would have increased three-fold.
  2. Too much UV rays in the sun can also cause most plant and crop life to wither and turn brittle and brown. You can only begin to imagine the extent of the tragedy and disaster this will bring to all living species, because a tremendous amount of  food farms and processors will be severely affected.
  3. A heightened exposure to the glaring sun and to the invisible UV rays will also increase the chances for sunburn, skin or eye cancer, and other unpleasant and unshakeable health restrictions. This is why the wearing of sunblock and sunscreen is always advised.

In summary, a world without the Montreal Protocol will only escalate to the spread of disease and starvation. However, this occurrence is still not the worst of it. About 10%-30% of crops can be obliterated if the temperature becomes too hot. When this happens, we will all experience the drastic drop in nationwide food supply and distribution.

The Montreal Protocol has also decreased the prevalence of chlorine released to the stratosphere and the atmosphere. Bromine, another ozone-saving substance, has the capacity to decrease the total amount of chlorine released by CFCs and other refrigerant substances.

Nowadays, CFCs are being replaced by HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, which do not damage the ozone layer.

Through this information, we are able to draw the line that connects greenhouse gases with the ozone cover, and how they affect the temperature up in the stratosphere. It is therefore of utmost importance to help in the shift toward renewable and non-toxic chemicals.

It is just one step to get rid of harmful chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Other ‘greenhouse gases’ such as methane and carbon dioxide will also play a role in determining the health and state of the ozone layer at this day and age.


The urgent need to get rid of refrigerants 


To ensure that the Montreal Protocol’s advocacies will continue to be upheld, it is highly urged for everyone to return or exchange any piece of old and used CFCs or refrigerant chemicals with a trained and licensed team of experts.

Refrigerant Services LLC offers a complete range of refrigerant recovery, clean exchange and disposal services so your homes and workplaces will be CFC-free. Call 844-PURECFC (787-3232) to schedule a pick-up or ask more details about this exchange. 

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How Our Clean Exchange Program Works

Scott Stanley - Friday, October 16, 2015
Oct 16thRefrigerant Services Clean Exchange Thumbnail

Clean Exchange Program

We at Refrigerant Services LLC believe that the environment is everyone’s responsibility and we take all the extra steps to ensure that everyone is doing their part.... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Services Clean Exchange Program

We at Refrigerant Services LLC believe that the environment is everyone’s responsibility and we take all the extra steps to ensure that everyone is doing their part. We are doing our share by abiding by EPA policies that call for the surrender, return or exchange of ozone-damaging gases most commonly found in refrigerant containers. These harmful chemicals are left lying around in old air conditioners, refrigerators and other HVAC units.

In the United States, the EPA will enforce a strict and complete phase out of old refrigerants by 2020. If you and your company rely heavily on the use of refrigerants, you should consider taking part in our Clean Exchange Program.

We offer complete refrigerant recovery and clean exchange services for businesses both large and small. We even pay for your old refrigerants so you can earn money while greatly helping the environment.

The refrigerant containers that we will replace your old ones with are safer, cleaner and overall more effective. We offer safer refrigerants at these regular cylinder sizes and high-pressure cylinders, from 240 lbs. to half a ton:

  •           R-11
  •           R-12
  •           R-22
  •           R-113
  •           R-123
  •           R-134A
  •           R-404A
  •           R-407C
  •           R-410A
  •           R-507A

How do I participate in the Clean Exchange Program? 


The process is simple: we want your old, expired and overall unused refrigerant cylinders. In exchange, we will give you DOT-certified cylinders, at whatever size you may need. You don’t even have to leave your facilities because we will come and pick it up for you.

We will accept all types of old cylinders, whether they are expired, old, empty, full, and even partially full. The cylinders we will give you in return are guaranteed to be cleaner, safer, newer and DOT-certified.

Do you have cylinders of these sizes?

  •           30 lbs.
  •           50 lbs.
  •           100 lbs.
  •           125 lbs.
  •           240 lbs.
  •           Or more.

If you need us to pick up cylinders that are more than 240 lbs., we can specially arrange to pick up containers of up to half a ton. You may also rent these containers from us if you need them. You can take part in our Clean Exchange Program and we will even pay you for the refrigerants that we will be able to recover from them.<

The best part is, we at Refrigerant Services LLC will handle the end-to-end process. From pick up, consolidation, extraction, and delivery back to you. We will come to your specified location, pick up your old canisters, replace them with new ones, refill the old ones, and then deliver it back to your workplace. We will test the refrigerants that we are able to collect from the canisters you give us, and we will pay you a corresponding amount for every drop we are able to recover.

You no longer have to worry about meeting the EPA deadline because we have got you covered every step of the way. We provide a comprehensive and detailed report for EPA documentation to all of our clients.

For added value and service, we also offer Tank-Renting Services to those in need of bigger containers. If you don’t need a very large tank, you can simply tell us what you need and we’ll find a suitable container for your requirements. Let’s work together toward creating a greener and safer planet. Although it may sound like something you’ve heard plenty of times before, we hope that by participating in our Clean Exchange Program, you are able to take pride in helping the environment in this convenient and hassle-free manner. We will do all the nitty-gritty work, but you will also benefit from the results of the process.

Get in touch with us at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) to schedule your pick-up and delivery date. You may also fill up a simple request form at our website, www.refrigerantservicesllc.com.

Stop by our social media accounts to stay current with all the latest refrigerant recovery news: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

What Happens When You Don’t Exchange Refrigerants?

Scott Stanley - Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Sept 22ndRefrigerant Recovery Consequences

Refrigerant Consequences

If you’ve asked this question before, then you are not alone. More often than not, when you are involved in commercial property or facility management that needs... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Buy Back Program

If you’ve asked this question before, then you are not alone. More often than not, when you are involved in commercial property or facility management that needs refrigerants to run HVAC operations, you are inclined to ask: “What does it even mean to me?”

When contained within air conditioners or refrigerators, refrigerants are responsible for cooling and dehumidifying the air. However, these refrigerants also have a large impact on the environment. If you have excess and unused refrigerants lying around your home or workspace, it is important for you to know your options about how to dispose of or exchange them for friendlier options.


The Risk in our Atmosphere


Refrigerants endanger our atmosphere. In 1987, it was concluded by researchers that the chemical components in commonly used refrigerants, also known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are a major cause of devastation to the earth’s lower atmosphere. Multiple scientific researches have shown that when CFCs enter the earth’s stratosphere, UV rays from the sun then break the compounds apart. When the CFCs break apart, chlorine is released.

It is chlorine that causes destruction in our atmosphere, and it does so repetitively until it depletes the ozone layer. The ozone layer is our planet’s natural protection from outside elements, and it acts as the earth’s own cooling system. When it is depleted, temperatures rise and a chain reaction of unpredictable disasters ensue. This is the phenomenon called climate change.

The other thing to worry about is that refrigerants take so long to be broken down. CFCs take up to 2 years to be fully broken down, and throughout these years, chlorine is continuously released to the stratosphere, hence causing unstoppable damage for a long period of time.


The Risk in our Bodies


Aside from having an effect on the environment, old refrigerants also have a harmful effect on the human body. The more exposed we are to UV rays from the sun, the higher the chances of us developing any of these damaging diseases:

  • Erythema or sunburn
  • Premature skin aging
  • Skin cancer
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Cataract build-up
  • Photodermatoses and other skin diseases
  • Blindness in severe cases

The World Health Organization has published a report on the Global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation and the report estimates the amount of UV-associated diseases to be found all over the world. Using industry-approved methodology and the best available data on deaths and diseases caused by UV, the WHO report estimates that around 1.5 mill DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) are lost because of excessive exposure to UV rays.


The Risk on All Life


The dangers don't end there. Continued depletion of the ozone layer and prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to the following tragedies:

The extinction of plant and animal species. The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) say that even just a 1.5 C degree average rise in temperature can put up to 20-30% of the world's species at risk. If the planet gets warmer by an additional 3°C, more ecosystems will bear the burden.

The destruction of forests and forest life. Tree lines are gradually retreating as temperatures rise. More and more forest areas are razed dry by a warming climate, and the carbon dioxide released by burning trees adds to the hazardous mix of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.Climate change creates a strong cause and effect chain that involves melting glaciers, flooding, water shortages, coral reef extinction, and marine life imbalances.

Loss of agricultural livelihood. Extreme heat and drought, as well as extreme flooding, can wipe out hectares of farmland in an instant. This leads to the loss of livelihood for many families, and it also creates an imbalance in the world’s supply of agricultural goods, which can cause prices to go up.


Refrigerant Services LLC is committed to Working Towards a Greener Planet. Be the change you want to see in the world, and exchange your old and harmful refrigerants today. Contact Refrigerant Services LLC at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) or Schedule a Pick Up Today with our easy to use form.

Visit our social media accounts to stay up to date with all the latest refrigerant recovery news: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

Did You Know That Your Used Refrigerants Can Be Redeemed For Cash?

Scott Stanley - Monday, August 17, 2015
Aug 17thRefrigerant Recovery Buy Back Program Thumb

Cash For Refrigerants!

Do you have unused refrigerants, sealed cylinders or leftover R-22 from from your office or managed properties? Did you know that your old refrigerants can be... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Buy Back Program

Do you have unused refrigerants, sealed cylinders or leftover R-22 from your office buildings or managed properties? What about in your workspace? Refrigerant Services LLC will help you get these out of your hands and will even pay you for it! If you are located anywhere in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana you are automatically qualified for our Buy Back Program. Our network of trained and experienced refrigerant handlers and carriers will pick up your gas right at your location. We are a top refrigerant service company that offers turnkey solutions for all unused refrigerants. So whether you have new refrigerants, reclaimed refrigerants, or mixed refrigerants, we can schedule a pick-up at a time that is convenient for you.


Did You Know That Your Used Refrigerants Can Be Redeemed For Cash?


The EPA is constantly tightening its policies about the use of R-22 and other refrigerants in our country, and the implications are that you might need to resort to recycled refrigerants for any equipment that needs R-22.  Using more environment-friendly refrigerants can come at a cost so let us help you make the transition smoother by being part of our Buy Back Program.

Our highly skilled and trained team is certified by the EPA to recover used, contaminated and even burnt refrigerants. In exchange, we’ll give you the best rates for your refrigerants. We will effectively separate the contaminants and empty them fully so you can get the best possible value for your money. Our services are consolidated and scheduled beforehand so we can work without interrupting your daily routine.

What happens when we get your refrigerants from you? There are three options included in the Buy Back Program:

  1. We can give you good-as-new refrigerants in return.
  2. We can buy your old or used refrigerants from you at the most reasonable rates possible.
  3. Or we can exchange your used refrigerants for a more EPA-compliant and environment-friendly type of refrigerant.

After our refrigerant recovery procedures, we will also perform an inspection of your immediate surroundings to ensure that there is no harmful leakage or unnecessary waste lying around. Together, we can work toward creating a greener and safer planet, while you earn extra money on the side.

Since starting our Buy Back Program we have received positive feedback from our clients because of the hassle-free process. Our program is deliberately designed to pay you good money for your recovered or unused viable refrigerants and dispose of other refrigerants that are harmful or of no use. We offer fast and free pick-ups of used cylinders, and we can even help you get new ones. The best part is that every step of our process is proven to be EPA-compliant, so you can be assured of getting peace of mind when you work with us.

We at Refrigerant Services are committed to working toward a greener and safer planet so let us take your refrigerant dilemmas off your hands and lives. We provide professional recovery services to ensure that all R-22 refrigerants are transferred, stored and disposed of in the most effective and responsible ways possible.

So if you or anyone you know have used refrigerants, want to make extra money, and even help save the environment, give us a call at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) and let’s talk about how we can help you. Or you can even fill up a quick form over at www.refrigerantservicesllc.com to submit an inquiry or ask for a pick-up schedule when it is convenient for you. 

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Handling Refrigerants: The Dangers Involved

Scott Stanley - Friday, July 10, 2015
July 9thRefrigerant Recovery Regulations Thumbnail

Handling Refrigerants

Refrigerants are substances or mixtures, usually in the form of a fluid, that are used to absorb or extract heat in order to provide a cooling effect... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Handling Services from the Professionals

This summer has posted record-holding temperatures around the globe and most of us have chosen to crank up the air conditioner and stay indoors. Cold drinks are a good accompaniment to these daily ‘staycations’ and your refrigerator is stocked with fruit juices, milk shakes, ice cold beer, and other cool beverages. While this is a good way to beat the heat, this is also a sure way to overuse your air conditioners and refrigerators. But before you get into any type of maintenance work yourself, know that there are many health hazards involved in dealing with refrigerants.


What are the dangers in handling refrigerants?


Refrigerants are substances or mixtures, usually in the form of a fluid, that are used to absorb or extract heat in order to provide a cooling effect in refrigerators and air conditioners. They are an integral part of the refrigeration cycle because of their ability to remove heat from one area and transfer it to another. While these compounds are a breakthrough for the industry, they also pose serious dangers to health and the environment if not handled professionally.

#1 - Frost bite and sight impairment

Most refrigerants have very low boiling points and this increases the chances of causing frost bite and sight impairment when handled without professional training and proper safety equipment. The most common cases of improper handling of refrigerants have led to individuals complaining about irritation around their eyes, which sometimes spreads down to the nose and throat.

#2 - Skin irritation and respiratory problems

Some refrigerants have slightly higher boiling points and they can cause mild up to severe skin irritation and respiratory problems. Fluorocarbon refrigerants are considered toxic especially in high concentrations. They are known to have an anesthetic or numbing effect, which causes difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. In severe cases, they can cause an irregular pulse, tremors, convulsions, and even death. Common refrigerants also freeze the skin in an instant, causing frostbite or other forms of skin rashes and wounds that will make it difficult for the person to carry out normal day-to-day functions.

#3 - Refrigerants are highly flammable

Refrigerants that do not contain the toxic hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) contain other potentially hazardous substances such as ammonia and carbon dioxide. Ammonia is also highly toxic and has medium flammability while carbon dioxide requires working at higher pressures than hydrofluorocarbons, which increases the risk involved in mishandling.

#4 - Hazards to the environment

Most air conditioners, especially the older models, use the R-22 or Freon coolant. Newer air conditioners use the R410-A, which is an environmentally safer option, but one that needs to be handled by a professional at all times.

These refrigerant types are chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and are considered controlled chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency. There are provisions that require proper disposal of these substances. There was a big environmental movement against CFCs in the 1970s because it was suggested that Freon and CFCs were causing damage to the earth’s ozone layer. It was said that these chemicals were depleting the ozone, the earth’s natural protection against ultraviolet radiation. This has then increased the risk of skin cancer and has threatened animal life.  Since then, Freon has been banned in the use of aerosol sprays in the United States, and most developed nations have ended their production of Freon and CFCs by the end of the 1990s.


Call the professionals.


To avoid unnecessary complications, always hire a professional to deal with refrigerants in your air conditioner and refrigerator. The State requires certain licenses in the handling and disposal of these substances so it is best to get the help of someone who has undergone training and authorization in the repair, replacement and disposal of refrigerants.

Remember that anyone who handles fluorocarbon refrigerants without a required license is committing a legal offense. To avoid unnecessary penalties, contact Refrigerant Services at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) or use our on-line contact form and one of our friendly staff will be in touch within two business days. We are a licensed refrigerant handler with the proper skills and training and approved safety equipment. Leave the work to us!

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Latest Regulations on Refrigerant Recovery

Scott Stanley - Friday, June 05, 2015
June 5thRefrigerant Recovery Regulations Thumbnail

Refrigerant Recovery Details

In abidance of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations in the handling, recycling and recovery... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Handling Services from the Professionals

In abidance of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations in the handling, recycling and recovery of refrigerants throughout the processes of servicing, repairing or disposing of air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances and equipment that use these substances. It is federally mandated that these parameters be followed and failing to do so can lead to non-compliance with the EPA resulting in fines and penalties.

The Refrigerant Recycling and Recovery Rules of Section 608 has established the following parameters:

  • All service practices should aim to maximize the recovery and recycling of refrigerants, especially the ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, throughout the servicing, repair and disposal of air conditioners and refrigerators.
  • Certification requirements have been set for the process of recycling and recovering refrigerants, as well as for the technicians, handlers and re-claimers of said substances.
  • Only certified technicians are allowed to sell refrigerants.
  • Everyone with refrigerant recovery equipment should have their equipment registered and certified by the EPA to ensure that they are complying with all the provisions of the rules.
  • It is required that all refrigeration equipment with a refrigerant charge over 50 pounds should undergo regular maintenance and repair to avoid leaking.
  • Safe disposal requirements have been set to ensure that all traces of refrigerants are removed from the waste stream if the charge is left intact (e.g. car air conditioners, home air conditioners, room air conditioners, home refrigerators and refrigerators for bulk and commercial use.)

Strict Enforcement of Prohibitions and Regulations to Refrigerant Recovery  


Before checking out the numerous technical policies and provisions for the recovery and recycling of refrigerants, be sure to know what is at stake should you choose to cut corners and skip the aid of properly trained refrigerant technicians.

The EPA holds the right to conduct random inspections and pursuing cases against violators. The EPA also holds the rights to investigate tips and cases that are forwarded to them.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA can charge penalties and fines of up to $37,500 per day depending on the violations.

Any citizen has the right to report a violation under complete anonymity and protection. Details on this can be found in the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance website.


The EPA Regulations for the Handling of Refrigerants 


The complete regulatory requirements can be found in the EPA website, but here is a quick outline that you can look over:


Service Practice Requirements


  • Evacuation Requirements

This section includes the required and approved steps for refrigerant evacuation as well as the proper conditions at which refrigerants of any type should be recovered. For example, in small appliances such as water coolers and home refrigerators, 80% of the refrigerant should be recovered when: a) the technician uses equipment manufactured before November 15, 1993, and b) when the compressor of the appliance is no longer working.

On the other hand, 90% of the refrigerant should be recovered if: a) the technician uses recovery equipment manufactured after November 15, 1993, and b) the compressor of the appliance is still operational.

  • Exceptions

In this section, the EPA has outlined exceptions to the rules on evacuation for: a) air conditioning and refrigeration repair, and b) repairs that are not major.

  • Reclamation

The EPA has also established that refrigerants that have been recovered can be returned to the same system or can be transferred to other systems owned by the same person. Refrigerants should only be reclaimed if the ownership has changed.


Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling Equipment Certification


All manufacturers and importers of refrigerant recovery equipment are required to have their equipment tested by an EPA-approved organization to lessen the involved hazards. Home air conditioning and refrigeration equipment should be tested based on the ARI 740 test protocol. And recycling and recovering equipment should be tested under the EPA Appendix C.

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have both been approved and certified by the EPA.


Other Regulations For Refrigerant Recovery


There are individual sections regarding the following areas in the complete list of regulations for refrigerant handling, recycling and recovery. Check the provisions regularly as there could be updates in the following sections:

  • Refrigerant Leaks
  • Certification of Technicians
  • Sales Restrictions
  • Certification by Owners of Refrigerant Equipment
  • Reclaiming Refrigerants
  • Sales Disposal Requirements
  • Enforcement of the Act 

It is in your best interest, safety and health to hire the help of trained and certified professionals to handle the recovery of refrigerants. Do not try this alone and unsupervised. With over 15 years of experience in commercial HVAC, Refrigerant Services LLC is a trusted service provider for all your on-site refrigerant recovery needs. Contact us today at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) or fill out our Schedule a Pick Up form to get started now!

Visit our social media accounts to learn more: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

3 Reasons Why You Need a Professional When Handling Refrigerants

Scott Stanley - Sunday, May 17, 2015
May 18thMichigan Refrigerant Handling Thumbnail Image Refrigerant Services LLC

Let the Professionals Handle It

3 reasons you need a professional when handling refrigerants. Don't get your company in trouble with the EPA. Call Refrigerant Services today... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Handling Services from the Professionals

The EPA recently came out with a ruling on the final phase out schedule for HCFC refrigerants, and they’re really cracking down. This year’s limit is a full 57% reduction from last year. That’s compared to a less than 20% reduction from the previous year, and an actual increase of almost 14% the year before.

In its own words, the EPA calls this an “aggressive linear reduction” to try and stick to the U.S.’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol to eliminate HCFCs by the year 2020. The vast number of businesses and individuals alike who still rely on HCFC-22 will likely see an “immediate” and “drastic” drop in supply and rise in prices.

For your own sake and the sake of your business, you might want to think about switching to other refrigerants as soon as possible. This can entail significant costs, and many try to cut corners here and there. For example, large cylinder consolidation is frequently left to inexperienced employees. This can lead to costly mistakes, and is a danger to all involved as well. Here are just a few reasons to start with why you should leave it to the professionals.


#1 - It’s Safer for You


Please remember that refrigerants are chemicals synthesized precisely to have unnatural characteristics. They have very low boiling points and can cause frostbite, eye damage, respiratory problems, and skin irritation.

Some refrigerants, including the widely used R-22 or R-22a on the other hand contain highly flammable components such as propane. In fact, the EPA released a warning just last year that improper use of R-22 can lead to injury and fire, stating that “these refrigerants have never been submitted to EPA for review.”

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor lists on its website no less than 33 accidents where one or more workers were killed or hospitalized due to accidents involving refrigerants. As far back as the 1920s, several deaths caused by leaked refrigerants led to some people abandoning their refrigerators altogether.

In its document on handling refrigerants, the EPA itself starts by stating that it’s “a lot more complicated than it used to be,” especially as there are now so many different types and blends, each with different boiling points and unique characteristics.


#2 - It’s Safer for the Environment


As we discussed in previous articles, CFCs were phased out in the 90’s because of the damage they have done to the ozone layer. It was found that one of the main characteristics of CFCs sought in their development – their low reactivity – was causing a chain reaction that threatens the planet. Because they can last in the atmosphere for over a century, CFCs end up leaking up to the ozone layer. When they get there, the ultraviolet radiation forces their chlorine atom to split. The released chlorine atoms in turn cause ozone to turn into oxygen. As the ozone layer thins out, more of the sun’s radiation gets through, threatening life on earth.

CFCs were replaced by HCFCs, which still damage the ozone layer although to a lesser degree. Many HCFCs are also potent greenhouse gases, which again poses significant risk to the environment. Despite also now being phased out, HCFCs are still widely used today, to the tune of 51 million pounds consumed in the U.S. last year alone.

The EPA is really cracking down now on the use of the most common HCFC, commonly called R-22. If you’re having your refrigerant reclaimed, recycled or replaced, chances are you’re dealing with R-22. Improper handling of R-22 could easily result in its release into the atmosphere, which is precisely what governments the world over have been trying to stop since the 80’s with the phase out programs.


#3 - Cheaper is Not Always Cheaper


As mentioned earlier, large cylinder consolidation is often left to inexperienced employees rather than to highly trained reclamation companies. This greatly increases the risk of injury, fire and release of the gases to the environment. On top of these, as many as a third of the cylinders end up needlessly contaminated. Not being able to recover one cylinder of gas and contaminating the good gas could end up costing thousands of dollars each.

There are some things you should just leave to the professionals. We at Refrigerant Services LLC have over 15 years in commercial and residential HVAC including full-service, on-site refrigerant recovery services. We are based in New Hudson, MI and serve the surrounding areas through to Indiana and Ohio. Contact us today through our website or call us at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) to speak with the certified refrigerant professionals! Help us in working towards a greener planet.

You can also stop by our social media accounts to learn more: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

What You Need to Know About the Refrigerant Phase out Program

Scott Stanley - Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Apr 21stMichigan Recovery Phase Out Program Thumbnail

Refrigerant Phase Out Program

What you and your company need to know about the Refrigerant Phase out Program to ensure that you stay EPA compliant moving forward... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Phase Out Program News

Predecessors of CFCs

In the 1800’s, chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide were widely used as fire suppressors and refrigerants due to the obvious need in military and industrial settings. The problem was that these chemicals are highly toxic to any personnel present, and can actually damage the equipment and other property they were meant to protect. In the 1920s, methyl chloride leakage from refrigerators led to several deaths, prompting some households to get rid of their refrigerators altogether.

Development of CFCs

As early as the 1890s, the first CFCs were synthesized by Frederic Swarts as possible alternatives that have low boiling point, toxicity and reactivity. Thomas Midgeley, Jr. improved on these in the 1920s, and over the next several decades, these and other related compounds were developed. Their use became standard in a wide variety of settings, especially in military vehicles, laboratories, computer facilities and even museums.

The Problem with CFCs

By the 1970s, however, the scientific community found that the very low reactivity of CFCs that make them so useful also meant that they can stay in the atmosphere for over a century. This gives the gases ample time to reach the upper stratosphere, where ultraviolet rays force their chlorine atoms to separate. These release chlorine atoms, forcing the conversion of ozone into oxygen. When this happens, vast areas of the ozone layer become too thin to block harmful radiation from the sun.

The Montreal Protocol

In response to these findings, the Montreal Protocol was established in the late 1980s to find alternatives and to phase out CFCs. Hailed as “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date,” it led to the successful phase out of CFC production by 1996.

HCFCs

A variation of CFCs, HCFCs were first considered a good alternative and its use remains widespread today. However, they are still damaging to the ozone layer and were found to be potent greenhouse gases as well. As early as 1992, the Montreal Protocol was amended to include the complete phase out HCFCs by 2020.

Phase out Schedule for HCFCs

Under the revised Protocol, the U.S. is required to gradually reduce its consumption of HCFCs following a strict timeline:

  • 35% by January 1, 2004
  • 75% by January 1, 2010
  • 90% by January 1, 2015
  • 99.5% by January 1, 2020

The EPA Final Phase out Schedule

On October 16 of last year, the EPA released its final “phasedown” schedule for HCFCs, particularly its most commonly used variant, HCFC-22 (R-22). From 51 million pounds allowed last year, the EPA ruling requires an “aggressive linear reduction,” to wit:

  • 22 million pounds for 2015
  • 18 million pounds for 2016
  • 13 million pounds for 2017
  • 9 million pounds for 2018
  • 4 million pounds for 2019
  • Complete phase out by 2020.

What This Means to You

This rapid decrease in HCFC consumption is aimed to encourage “transition, reclamation and proper refrigerant management.” Since we face a full 57% reduction on R-22 consumption this year alone, prices will likely skyrocket and availability will be a problem. Businesses and individuals alike now need to make the shift towards newer, environmentally-friendly refrigerants such as R-1234 or R-410A.

There has been some hesitation in this regard, since phase outs can often be problematic. Day to day operations are interrupted, and there are costs and losses for equipment that need to be replaced before their time. Improper handling of refrigerants can also easily lead to accidents and even more release of HCFCs to the atmosphere.

How Refrigerant Services Can Help

To help businesses and individuals make the transition, our refrigerant experts are licensed by the EPA to carry out a Michigan “buyback” program. This can mean a substantial per cylinder incentive for any used refrigerant you can have us recover.

The best part is that we do everything for you! We come to your location and do on-site recovery. Our team of highly trained technicians uses only the latest equipment and techniques, ensuring maximum recovery and minimal leakage, accidents and inconveniences. Use our online form to schedule your pickup today or call us at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) for more information!

You can learn more and stay connected with us on our social media accounts: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

Chlorofluorocarbon – What it is and Why it’s Bad for the Environment

Scott Stanley - Saturday, March 07, 2015
Mar 7th

What are chlorofluorocarbons?

You’ve probably seen “CFC Free” labels on a wide variety of everyday products or heard that CFCs are bad for the environment. However, do you really know what they are... Read more

Michigan Refrigerant Services ChlorofluorocarbonsYou’ve probably seen “CFC Free” labels on a wide variety of everyday products or heard that CFCs are bad for the environment. However, do you really know what they are, where they are used, and how they impact our environment? Read on to find out more.

What are Chlorofluorocarbons?

Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs for short, are compounds made up of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, as the name suggests. They are derived from methane, ethane, and propane. They are also known by the brand name Freon.

CFCs were synthesized in the 1890s by Frederic Swarts and improved by Thomas Midgley, Jr. in the 1920s in search of a new refrigerant and fire suppressor. Up until then, chemicals used for such like ammonia, chloromethane and sulfur dioxide were highly toxic. In developing CFCs, characteristics the scientists aimed for were very low boiling point, toxicity, and reactivity.

Though technically different compounds, hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), bromochlorofluorocarbons, bromofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are often referred to as CFCs alongside their predecessor. They are basically derived from the same elements and used in the same ways.

Where are CFCs used?

As mentioned, CFCs were developed specifically for use as refrigerants and fire extinguishers. In a demonstration for the American Chemical Society, Midgley famously inhaled some CFC and blew out a candle with it to demonstrate its non-toxicity. CFCs were also used as propellants for “aerosol” cans. Some types of CFCs or similar compounds were/are used as fumigants and solvents.

CFCs and/or their closely related predecessors and successors were used heavily in military applications, particularly in aviation and the navy. Its uses in such scenarios were greatly appreciated for their effectiveness at putting out fires without exposing people to toxins. Their use quickly spread to civilian and commercial applications, especially where water and dry-powder extinguishers would damage the property they’re supposed to protect in the first place, such as rooms with electronics, lab equipment or valuable works of art. They were also widespread in everyday items such as hairspray.

How do CFCs Impact the Environment?

In the 1970s, James Lovelock carried out an expedition measuring CFC levels in the North and South Poles. While significant amounts were detected, he concluded that they were not hazardous to the environment.

Soon after, however, Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina, taking off from Lpvelock’s work, found that CFCs’ most useful feature – low reactivity – was also its most destructive. With a lifespan of over a century, CFCs were found to diffuse into the upper stratosphere, where the sun’s radiation caused the separation of the chlorine atoms, which are another long-lived element that forces the conversion of ozone into oxygen.

With less and less ozone, more and more high-energy UV-B radiation gets through to the Earth’s surface. Quickly enough, it was found that there was a drastic seasonal depletion over Antartica, with NASA projecting a complete loss of the ozone layer by the year 2060 if no action was done.

The Montreal Protocol was drawn up for the complete halt of production of CFCs in developed countries by the year 2000 and in developing countries by 2010. It is backed by all 197 member states of the UN, “has a near perfect compliance record,” and was called “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date” by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Production of new CFCs is believed to have ceased completely by 1994.

The Situation Today

One problem, for starters, is that there are still almost 6,000,000 tons of CFCs in existing equipment and appliances. Some applications, such as aviation fire control and medicinal purposes, have yet to have a viable alternative. This poses a major threat to the environment if not captured, recycled and eventually destroyed using proper techniques and technology.

A temporary solution has been the use of HCFCs in lieu of CFCs, but these gasses still contribute damage to the ozone layer, and are greenhouse gasses to boot. Probably the most widely used is HCFC-22 or R-22, whose production also creates HFC-23, an even more potent greenhouse gas. HCFCs are also being phased out by the Montreal Protocol by the year 2020 (2030 for developing countries).

HFCs are being touted as the next step, with 0 ozone depleting potential, but are considered super greenhouse gasses. Natural alternatives are continuously being sought out as a phase out of HFCs looms. All in all, however, the best quick fix we can come up with while waiting for more permanent solutions is to properly capture, recycle and destroy harmful refrigerants to prevent them from leaking out into the atmosphere.

That is where Refrigerant Services is ready to help! We use the latest technology to recover potentially harmful refrigerants to ensure that they do cause any damage to the environment. If you would like to work with a company dedicated to providing a green alternative call us today at 844-PURECFC (787-3232) to learn about our buy back and clean exchange program. You can also schedule a pick up right from our website.

Stop by our social media accounts to stay connected: Facebook Fan Page | Twitter Feed | Google+ Listing | LinkedIn Company Page

Please Visit Our New Social Media Accounts

Scott Stanley - Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Jan 7th

Visit Our Social Media Accounts

Stop by our new social media accounts to stay connected with Refrigerant Services. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube... Read more

Stop by our new social media accounts to stay connected with Refrigerant Services. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You can visit us by clicking on the following links:

Facebook Fan Page / Twitter Feed / Google+ Listing / LinkedIn

Have more questions?

CONTACT US TODAY!

54000 Grand River New Hudson, MI 48165

Call 844-PURECFC Today