Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

DIY air-conditioning fix illegal, group warns

  • Print

Think you can top up your air-conditioning unit at home or in your car? Think again.

Dealers in refrigerants rolled out a campaign Thursday to warn consumers if they try a cheap fix for their faltering AC unit, they're probably breaking the law.

Manitoba's environment laws are strict when it comes to ozone protection, and at the top of the restricted list is refrigerants.

"Under Manitoba law, the improper handling, mixing or release of regulated refrigerants, even by accident, carries penalties of up to $50,000 or six months' imprisonment for a first offence," warned a new poster released by the Manitoba Ozone Protection Industry Association.

The industry association, which is appointed by the government to act as advisers to the province, issued its warning Thursday after learning big-box retailers routinely sell do-it-yourself air-conditioning repair kits.

"It's relatively new," association executive director Mark Miller said.

"The kits range from $50 to $110, and it's cheaper than calling an air-conditioning company." And that's the problem.

Under the province's regulations, only certified AC technicians have the authority to recover refrigerant, repair equipment and recharge air-conditioning systems with new refrigerants.

"Normally, when an air-conditioning (unit) isn't cooling properly, the majority of the time, it's because the refrigerant is leaking out and (the kit) fixes it but the refrigerant continues to leak out," Miller said.

"Our problem isn't the refrigerant in them; it's good-quality. It's the consumer who could be damaging the equipment and harming the environment," he said.

The poster also warns mixing refrigerants can be dangerous and damage the equipment. Propane and ammonia, for instance, are toxic and flammable and even if they don't combust, releasing them can damage the environment.

The destruction of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is caused by chemicals, including certain chlorine- and bromine-containing compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons or halon. Ozone forms a protective layer against deadly ultraviolet radiation.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 16, 2013 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • June 25, 2013 - 130625  -  A storm lit up Winnipeg Tuesday, June 25, 2013. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press - lightning

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

View Results

Ads by Google