What is 1234YF?
1234YF refrigerant is designed to be an alternative to the R-134a HFC refrigerant that is used today. R-134a has been discontinued in the European Union and is on it’s way to being discontinued in the United States. 134a is being phased out due to it’s high global warming potential number of over 1,300. With 134’a widespread use across the world it was having a significant impact on global warming.
1234YF was introduced as an alternative refrigerant with a MUCH lower global warming potential of 4. Yes, that’s right 4. As you can see there is quite the difference between the two refrigerants. 1234YF also does NOT contain Chlorine like it’s early R-12 predecessor. There are only two drawbacks that come to mind when dealing with 1234YF:
- The flammability risk is higher than 134a and R-12. While this sounds dangerous, the chances of this impacting you are minimal. There have been numerous controlled tests in Germany and other countries testing 1234YF in a collision. More often than not everything is fine. There were a few tests in the early days of 1234YF that the refrigerant tank ruptured and ignited during a simulated car accident. These have not been replicated.
- The price on 1234YF is significantly higher than what you are used to paying for 134a. The typical price for a thirty pound jug of 134a is around $70-$100 a cylinder. The price on 1234YF may be as much as six times that cost for a single cylinder. Instead of $100 you could be looking at $700.
Who’s Using 1234YF?
The demand for 1234YF is still small in the United States. In the European Union 134a was completely phased out a few years ago and was replaced by 1234YF. Demand over there is growing exponentially. The story is a bit different here as only a few OE manufacturers have begun using 1234YF. Even those manufacturers are only using it on certain models. With that being said with each year that passes the demand for 1234YF grows and more models and manufactures begin using it.
134a is predicted to be phased out entirely across the United States in the year 2021. As we approach that year the demand for 1234YF will grow year over year. There are numerous 2015 year vehicles on the road today that use 1234YF, but since the air conditioning system is a completely sealed unit the need to refill their vehicle with 1234YF only arises when the system breaks or a collision accident occurs.
Where Can I Buy?
Since this refrigerant is still fairly new to the market there aren’t a lot of places to buy it today. The easiest and best place to buy today would be on Amazon.com or by clicking on the product link below: