A Brief History of Refrigerants
Updated: Aug 2
Most people don't realize it, but a vehicle's refrigerant is a very toxic chemical. So toxic, that venting refrigerants into the air is illegal!
Older refrigerants contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs were so bad for the environment that 197 countries signed a ban on any product containing them in 1987. It even included hairsprays! You may know this ban as The Montreal Protocol.
This CFC-ridden refrigerant is called R12. For years, R12 was efficient and cheap. But it was destroying our ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol banned R12 from all new cars post-1994.
After R12, manufacturers switched to R134a. Most of you readers likely have R134a refrigerant in your A/C system. It is better for the environment, but it still isn't perfect.
Once R134a gets into the atmosphere, it takes a long time to break down. So a new rule got passed! As of 2021, all new cars have to have R1234yf refrigerant.
R1234yf refrigerant may be a mouthful, but it works the same as R134a refrigerant. The only difference is that it breaks down a lot faster in the atmosphere.
If you would like to learn more about refrigerants and your car's A/C system, check out our most recent blog: Air Conditioning Facts That Will Blow You Away.
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Dealer.com. (n.d.). Hanson Kia Car Care Tips: The 3 Most Common Types of Refrigerant for Cars. Hanson Kia. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.hansonkia.com/service/information/things-to-know-about-automotive-refrigerant-olympia-wa.htm