In some jurisdictions–British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick–it is required to retrofit a leaking air conditioning system equipped with R-12 refrigerant, usually known by its trade name Freon. In addition, the rising costs of R-12 may mean that a retrofit is the most cost effective solution in your local market. While there are several options for refrigerant usage on the market, the most popular remains R-134a.
A number of manufacturers have pre-assembled retrofit kits that includes O-rings, fittings and lubricant compatible with the new refrigerant. The kit may also contain a Receiver/Drier.
While not necessarily required by jurisdictions in Canada, it is wise to use the new fittings as an unavoidable reminder of the retrofit to technicians who may come across the system in the future.
It is also advisable to be fully informed of the rules and regulations regarding the sale and disposal of refrigerant, containers, and used a/c parts. Hefty fines can be levied on any business caught breaking the regulations so it pays to be informed.
For more information on A/C Regulations across the country, go to www.autoservicworld.com. Under Issues Archive, click on either SSGM or Jobber News April and see the A/C Regulations at a glance chart in the Special Report: Practical Guide to A/C Service and Regulation. The supplement also contains additional articles on the subject.