R-410A Frequently Asked Questions

 

How should R-410A be disposed?

Refrigerant R-410A that has been recovered should be sent to a refrigerant reclaimer that is EPA-certified. Only a certified reclaimer can re-sell refrigerant once it has been reclaimed and recycled.

How should R-410A equipment such as chillers, air conditioners, and direct expansion fan coils be disposed of?

A list of Safe Requirements of Disposal is available to any licensed refrigeration technician from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). If the equipment requires disassembly in the field prior to being disposed of, then the refrigerant needs to be recovered by an EPA Certified entity. The owner of the landfill or scrap metal recycling company needs to confirm the refrigerant has been reclaimed from the system prior to the equipment’s final disposal processing.

Do restrictions exist for the purchase of HFC (Hydroflourocarbon) refrigerants such as R-410A?

Because HFC are earth friendly and do not result in ozone depletion, anyone can purchase R-410A refrigerant. It does not require a refrigerant license to purchase this or any other HFC refrigerant, such as R-134A for example.

Do limitations exist regarding the use of refrigerants in the HFC class.

The EPA has the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program (SNAP). It identifies a list outlining acceptable substitutes of refrigerant types. It is illegal to release these refrigerants into the atmosphere purposely and knowingly. The venting prohibition is applicable to R-410A, R-134A, and all remaining HFC refrigerants. The same rules apply to refrigerants that are ozone depleting such as the old R-22.

Are certified technicians allowed to recover and use HCFC refrigerants such as R-22?

Two options exist for licensed technicians regarding this question:

  1. A licensed technician is allowed to recover refrigerant from an owner’s equipment, and subsequently re-charge the owner’s same piece of equipment with the same recovered refrigerant.
  2. A licensed technician is allowed to reclaim and clean the refrigerant, and subsequently recharge into the same piece of equipment, without meeting the EPA’s recycle policies. The technician is not allowed to recharge the HCFC refrigerant into a different machine themselves. The refrigerant needs to be processed at a licensed certified refrigerant recycling facility. At that point it can be used on any piece of equipment.