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New Regulations Surrounding AC Units - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

New Regulations Surrounding AC Units

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Our AC units are very important in the summer to help keep us cool, but could they also be putting people at risk? A new code has been adopted in Fargo to keep people from tapping into those units illegally.
The city of Fargo just adopted a 2012 mechanical code saying new builds, or big remolding jobs, need locking caps on air conditioners.
"we're going to follow up on that permit with periodic inspections." says Ron Strand the Inspections Administrator.

The caps cover the refrigerant circuits to prevent people from using them.

"We've contacted our distributors and they're getting us the locking caps, and wrenches, or keys that we need to access that." says LaneysLaney'sInstall Manager Joel Carlson.

Many concerns created the code including frostbite from the refrigerant, having a leak in the unit and polluting the air, and preventing people getting high from breathing in the refrigerant.

"Unauthorized people trying to handle the refrigerants, and not knowing how to handle it properly, also leads to uncontrolled release." Strand says.

So a cap is being put on to keep others off, and both a key and training is needed to know how to properly remove them. For those getting new air conditioning units the cap is put on at the time of installation.

"Average cost to the customer, on a new install, may raise the air conditioning price $20." Carlson says.

For current home owners with working units, having someone come to your home to put on a cap could cost around $120. That's why Laney's suggests adding just the $20 fee when a new unit is being installed or when a system is being fixed. But it's just a small price to keep the you, others and the environment safe. 
"It's very cheap to hopefully save someones life." Carlson nods.

Currently there are about 4 to 5 types of locks and keys because it's early in the time of making these caps, but inspectors think it's one more step to protect the environment and people.

To read more on Refrigerant Safety click here.
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