• Ashley Bradish

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!


AC Refrigerant Tank, Quality Automotive, Blairstown, NJ, 07825

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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Sources


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