What You Need to Know About Refrigerant Regulations

Commercial Refrigerators Regulations Rulebook | Imbera FoodserviceBusiness owners using commercial refrigerators or freezers should be knowledgeable of refrigerant rules and regulations. Government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are established in order to protect the environment by cutting down on pollution.  

As refrigerant technology continues to improve over time, new regulations must be followed. To learn more about refrigerant regulations and how they will affect your business, continue reading.  

A Look at Existing Regulations   

In May of 2015, the EPA put out a new program called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It dictates that Class I and II refrigerants must be closely regulated. These two classes include refrigerants in commercial kitchens, air conditioners, and reach-in freezers. The EPA has also approved additional options that offer a low global warming potential.  

By 2030, EPA wants to phase out Class II refrigerants and make them illegal for commercial and residential use. In order to start this process, they are beginning to make these substances more restricted. This isn’t the first time the organization has restricted refrigerants. They’ve already successfully phased out Class I refrigerants.  

Implementing New Restrictions 

As of late 2016, the EPA has updated existing requirements related to ozone-depleting substances. The older regulations included substances like chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). The new regulations are using less harmful chemicals like HFCs.  

There are now stricter requirements for leak repairs in large appliances. These changes are supposed to improve readability of regulations for commercial refrigerator owners and simplify compliance.  

What’s the Purpose of Regulations?  

The government’s Climate Action Plan encourages a reduction in using these substances that produce greenhouse gases. The EPA wants to evaluate all chemicals and substances that can damage the ozone layer. Based on the impact these chemicals can have on the atmosphere, these regulations are in place to see what is safe to use.  

The higher the ozone-depletion number, the less likely you will have access to it in the future. For example, Halon-1391 has the ozone-depletion potential of 10, while Methyl Chloroform is at 0.1. This means that Halon-1391 is highly dangerous to the ozone and will soon be illegal to use in refrigerators in the future.   

R290 Refrigerant  

The EPA is now recommending that foodservice businesses use R290 refrigerant. It is non-toxic, natural, and free of ozone-damaging properties. Not only is it climate friendly, but it is cost effective as well. It can reduce your overall energy costs by up to 28%. Some fear that a propane-operated refrigerator can lead to an explosion. Studies and research have proved there’s only a .001% chance of this actually occurring.  

It is crucial that you understand how these refrigerant regulations affect your business. Choose a solution that will save your business money and protect the ozone layer.  

Imbera is an international company that has been dedicated to the design, development, and manufacturing of commercial coolers since 1941. We are proud to be the first to market with a complete line of products that use R290 coolant. Contact us at 678-504-6835 to learn more about how you can protect the environment and your bottom line.