Pros & Cons of Hydrocarbon Refrigerants

Save

Refrigeration is an essential part of every day life for people. We need our cars cooled and our food stored in cold environments for freshness. You may have heard about some of the benefits of substituting your current refrigerant for a hydrocarbon refrigerant. Although a hydrocarbon refrigerant may offer some benefits, chances are you will not lawfully be allowed to use one.

Identification

  • Hydrocarbon refrigerants use fossil fuels such as butane and propane to keep products cold, claims the Environmental Protection Agency. Refrigerants work by taking advantage of the phenomenon of "heat transition". When water turns from a solid to a liquid, it gains heat to facilitate "melting", according to ChemHeritage.com. A refrigerant comes in the form of pressurized liquid and turns to a gas when pressure is released. The gas soaks up heat from the surround environment, hence refrigeration.

Health Risks

  • Hydrocarbon refrigerants use fossil fuels, and despite the characteristic cold, can still cause flammability, especially in air conditioners, reports the EPA. Refrigerant leaks in cars are especially dangerous, reports AA1Car.com. As little as 4 ounces of hydrocarbon refrigerants inside a vehicle can ignite due to sparks from lighting a cigarette.

Reduce Energy Costs

  • Hydrocarbon refrigerants use up to 15 percent less energy than traditional hydro-fluorocarbon refrigerants reports refrigerator seller Foster Refrigerator. They also put less stress on compressors and reduce maintenance costs. You can reduce the noise of a compressor by using an HC refrigerant and lower the heat level in a kitchen, according to Foster.

Legality

  • Under current regulations by the EPA, industry may use hydrocarbon refrigerants, but consumers may not use them. The flammability risks and design of products for a non-flammable refrigerant necessitate this precaution, reports the EPA. Industrial use of hydrocarbon refrigerants tend not to include the air conditioning systems which cause most of the complications found in consumer use.

Alternatives

  • Refrigerants are regulated under the EPA's SNAP program, part of the Clean Air Act, which calls for research and testing on all chemicals that could cause a depletion of the ozone layers. If you need an alternative refrigerant, the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program has a listing of all acceptable alternatives on the EPA website linked in the resources section below.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jeff Keyzer
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Pros & Cons of Using Stop Leak in AC Systems

    Automotive air-conditioning stop leak products can be applied to a vehicle's low-pressure fitting to help seal small leaks in the air-conditioning system....

  • Advantages & Disadvantages of Internal Control

    Within the field of accounting, internal controls are processes and procedures that direct, monitor and measure a company's resources so that financial...

  • Kinds of Refrigerants

    All refrigerators, freezers, and HVAC units require refrigerants, substances whose thermodynamic properties allow them to absorb heat at low temperatures and reject...

  • List of CFC Refrigerants

    Freon or CFC-12 was used for over thirty years as a refrigerant in air conditioning units both in the home and in...

  • Sources of Hydrocarbon's Energy

    A hydrocarbon is a natural compound that contains hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are classified as organic and can have single (saturated), double...

  • What Are the Dangers of Inhaling Freon?

    Freon is the trade name for a group of man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs contain chlorine, fluorine and carbon and are...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!