We've all heard of fake Rolexes and Gucci purses, but counterfeit refrigerant?! Counterfeit and alternative refrigerants may be rare, but you should be aware that they're out there—and they represent a safety hazard that could damage your clients' HVAC systems.
The cost of R-22 Freon is skyrocketing, and this rapid acceleration in price has created a market for counterfeit and alternative refrigerants. The same holds true for R-134a used in kitchen refrigerators, and the fake stuff can be dangerous!
Genuine, alternative, and counterfeit refrigerants… what's the difference?
Genuine Refrigerants have been laboratory tested and approved by the EPA and HVAC manufacturers for use in their equipment.
Alternative Refrigerants are approved by the EPA but not by manufacturers for use in their equipment. Using alternative refrigerants is legal, but can void the manufacturer's warranty as an improper repair.
Counterfeit Refrigerants are illegal to use or sell, and neither the EPA nor the equipment manufacturers have approved their use. Counterfeit refrigerants are often a concoction of genuine refrigerant and additives. These "cocktails" can be dangerous, as they may be toxic and/or explosive.