F.A.Q.s

Frequently Asked Questions on Refrigerants:

General Questions (25)

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Refrigerant is a non-flammable gas that is used in almost every air-conditioning unit in the world. Rather it be cars, trucks, refrigerators, your home AC unit, even grocery store freezers use it. Want to keep something cool? Then you need Refrigerant!

It’s been around for almost a hundred years now and it’s here to stay! Over the years the types of Refrigerant have expanded exponentially with varying boiling points and chemical compositions. There are four primary types Refrigerant that you will run into R-12, R-22, R-134A, and R-410A. These four types make up 90% of the Refrigerant market.

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There are numerous places you can purchase refrigerant either through online websites, in a retail setting, or purchased directly from a refrigerant distributor. Where to buy is going to be determined off of what kind of refrigerant you are looking for and what kind of quantity you are looking at.

If you’re looking at just one or two cylinders of refrigerant than the easiest place to purchase would be online either through Amazon or through E-Bay. These two sites allow you to purchase any type of refrigerant by individual cylinders as well as providing ease of use.

The only catch is that you will need to provide EPA certification. If you cannot provide certification than you will not be able to purchase.

If you are looking to purchase larger quantities of refrigerants such as five, ten, twenty, or even a pallet of forty cylinders then I would recommend contacting refrigerant distributors. I have compiled a listing of various refrigerant distributors throughout the United States. You can view the list by clicking here.

When contacting them know that the more you buy the cheaper your cost will be and it is best to shop around between at least a few distributors to ensure you get the best cost.

Lastly, if you are looking to buy pallets at a time I would consider going direct with the manufacturer of the product. DuPont, Honeywell, Chemours, MexiChem are all manufacturers here in the United States that could be partnered with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HFO refrigerants, or Hydrofluro-Olefins, are a new class of refrigerants that have a much lessened global warming potential than it’s HCFC alternatives. One example being the 134a alternative, 1234YF, which is 335 times lower on the global warming potential scale and only four times higher than standard carbon dioxide.

HFOs are the refrigerant of the future… for now. I say for now because we’ve been through this before. A new refrigerant is introduced and then something is found to be harmful in that chemical and the refrigerant is replaced with a new and better line. Maybe HFOs are the perfect refrigerant, but I have a feeling we’ll be going through this again and sooner rather than later. Let’s keep everyone on their toes…

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Before I answer this question you should know that your air conditioning unit is a closed and sealed system. The refrigerant that is in your AC system recycles itself through all of the various cycles that it goes through. The refrigerant should never run out and you should never have to refill your system unless there is something else wrong with your unit.

For example, if you have a leak somewhere in your sealed system than the refrigerant will slowly dissipate. If you add more refrigerant to your system you are not solving the problem. That refrigerant you just added will now be leaking out of that same hole. What you should do in this instance is to identify the leak or problem area, fix it, and THEN add refrigerant back to your system.

If you have a contractor saying that they need to refill your refrigerant and they do not mention a leak or other problem with the system you should be very skeptical. Are they fixing the problem with your unit, or are they gouging you on a refrigerant refill and then a week or so later they will be back out there when all of the refrigerant they put in has leaked out.

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It depends on what type of refrigerant you are looking at. The CFCs and HCFC classes of refrigerants were phased out due to the Chlorine that they contained. It was found in the 1970s that Chlorine when released into the atmosphere causes damage to the O-Zone layer. The O-Zone layer is a type of shield high in the Earth’s atmosphere that protects the Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

It was found that the O-Zone layer was being so badly damaged that a hole begin to form above Antarctica. Scientists and governments scrambled for a solution and they eventually came up with the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol was a treaty signed by nearly two hundred countries. The goal of the Montreal Protocol was to phase out all CFC and HCFC products including refrigerants.

The first to go was R-12 Refrigerant. R-12 was the first type of mainstream refrigerant and had been used since the early twentieth century. When it was phased out in the 1994 it was mainly being used for automobile applications. R-12 was replaced with the HFC R-134a.

The next to go R-502. R-502 was mainly used for vending machines, supermarket freezers, ice machines, and refrigerated transport. R-502 was replaced with the HFC R-404A.

The very latest to go in the CFC/HCFC side was R-22. R-22 was being used widespread since the 1950s and was mainly used for home and commercial cooling applications. In 2010 it’s phase-out process began, in 2015 production was cut, and in 2020 it will be completely banned. It’s replacement was the HFC refrigerant known as R-410A or Puron.

Now, you may have noticed something from the text above. All of the replacements for CFC/HCFC refrigerants were HFC refrigerants. Come to find out HFC refrigerants also harm the environment… just not in the same way. HFCs while they do not contain Chlorine do have extremely high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is a relative measure on how much greenhouse gas is trapped in atmosphere by a certain product. It measures everything against the control value of Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide has a GWP of zero.

So, with that in mind HFCs are next on the chopping block. R-134a, the replacement for R-12 for vehicle AC systems, has already been banned in the European Union due to it’s high GWP. It has not yet been banned in the United States but I predict that it will be in the coming years. If I was to put a wager on it I would say phase out will begin in 2017-2018 and it will be completely gone by 2021-2022. It is being replaced either by the new HFO refrigerant 1234YF or by Carbon Dioxide applications.

On top of 134a being phased out R-404A is looking to be the next mainstream HFC refrigerant to be scheduled out. R-404A’s has been used for vending machines, superstore freezers, and refrigerated transport. There isn’t a ‘perfect’ replacement yet for 404A but it is looking it will either be replaced with Carbon Dioxide refrigerant or R-452A. (R-452A is another temporary measure as it’s GWP is still very high.)

R-410A is still going strong as of today, but I predict it’s only a matter of time before it is scheduled for phase out as well.

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Short answer, yes… but it really depends on what type of refrigerant you will be brining into the country. There are some types of Refrigerant that are monitored and only allowed a certain amount of imports per year. These types include R-12 and R-22 as well as any other CFC or HCFC classes.

If you are looking to bring in HFCs such as R-134a, R-404A, or R-410A there is not limit set today on what you can bring in. This may change in the future as HFCs are slowly being phased out in the United States. It is all voluntary at this point but that could change in the coming years.

Lastly, be sure that you trust your supplier from over seas. There has been counterfeit refrigerant on the market over the past few years. Not only are you getting ripped off but this counterfeit can be dangerous. Most of the time companies will try save money and short change the manufacturing process. This can lead to bad chemical compositions and even lead to extremely flammable product.

 

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R-744, also known as CO2, is a natural refrigerant that can be traced all the way back to the 1850s. It began to see widespread usage in the early 1900s and 1920s but eventually declined due to the Great Depression and due to the high pressure that R744 operates under. In recent years it has seen a resurgence in usage mainly due to companies looking for a replacement for the high global warming HFC refrigerants such as 134a, 410A, and 404A.

R-744 has many benefits over other mainstream refrigerants. It does not have any Ozone depletion potential, it’s global warming potential is 1, it is non-toxic, it is non flammable, and it is far more efficient over it’s competitors.

It’s hard to say if CO2 will become the new mainstream refrigerant again or if it will be replaced another alternative refrigerant.

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R-452A is a new HFO refrigerant developed by DuPont that is designed to be a drop in replacement for R-404A. It is also known under DuPont’s brand name Opteon XP44. It is a more environmentally friendly refrigerant compared to it’s 404A equivalent. 404A has a global warming potential of 3,943 whereas the 452A has a global warming potential of 2,140.

Opteon  XP44 (R-452A)
• HFO/HFC blend with GWP = 2141; 45% reduction vs R-404A
• Close performance match to R-404A; for retrofit and new systems
• A1 non-flmmable; ideal for use in transport refrigeration
• For use where lowest discharge temperatures are required

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Refrigerant is  hazardous and can be flammable depending on the type you are dealing with. The  storage of Refrigerant should be taken seriously and with consideration. No matter what type of refrigerant you are dealing with  you need to take the proper steps and precautions. Below are a few instrumental points to review when storing your Refrigerant :

  • Ensure that all cylinders be stored up right and are without risk of tipping over.
  • Refrigerant should be stored in a well ventilated area and temperatures should NOT exceed over 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperate becomes too hot pressure can build inside the container which could cause the container to rupture. This could cause the release valve to fail which could result in an explosion of the product.
  • Ensure all Refrigerant containers/cylinders have pressure release devices to avoid combustion and or explosions.
    • Ideally cylinders should be inspected for pressure release valves soon after you receive the product. This will allow you to catch a problem right away and give you time to get back to your supplier.
  • Ensure there are no combustible or flammable materials nearby the containers.
    • NO SMOKING next to containers.
  • Perform regular visual inspections of your cylinders to ensure that everything is in good order.
  • Limit the number of people who have access to your Refrigerant , as the more people who have access the higher your chance of an incident. Also, please keep out of reach of children.

Refrigerant can be dangerous, or it can be very safe. It is up to you to take the per-cautions when storing your product.

You can also purchase some storage racks for your van or facility from our Amazon partner by reviewing the options below:

Kargo Master 40100 Refrigerant Tank Rack

Kargo Master 40100 Refrigerant Tank Rack

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There are numerous scales on the market today and most will be able to take thirty pound cylinders or tanks. I would recommend browsing through some of the scales available through our Amazon partner as seen below.

The FJC 2850 Electronic Scale shown below is one of the highest rated scales on Amazon and it is one of the cheapest in price.  It has a capacity of 184 pounds and will get the job done!

FJC 2850 Electronic Scale on Amazon

The above scale was for more of the bargain shopper but if you’re looking for the latest technology I would recommend the wireless scale below. The Fieldpiece SRS2C Wireless Refrigerant Scale also has great reviews and it’s capacity is over two-hundred pounds. However, as I said it is quite a bit more pricey than the previous shown scale.

Fieldpiece SRS2C Wireless Refrigerant Scale

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s new SNAP program is acronym for ‘The Significant New Alternative Policy.’ It’s original purpose was to monitor, regulate, and to eventually phase out O-Zone depleting gases such as R-12 and R-22. R-12 was phased out in 1994 and R-22 was phased out in 2010.

The SNAP program is now being used to find replacements for HFC refrigerants such as R-134a, R-404A, and R-410A. These HFC refrigerants have a high global warming potential and contribute to Global Warming. The EPA’s SNAP program is looking at all refrigerant alternatives and approving the ones that they feel have the most promise.

You can read about the SNAP program from the EPA’s website by clicking here.

 

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The Kigali agreement or amendment was a treaty signed by over one-hundred and seventy countries in October of 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. The agreement was an amendment to the already existing Montreal Protocol. The goal of this amendment was to phase out HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-134a, and R-404A from the world by the year 2100. HFC refrigerants were found to cause significantly to Global Warming. The hope is that by phasing out these refrigerants that the temperate of the earth will lower by 0.5 degrees.

For more information on the agreement read this blog post I wrote on it.

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No, refrigerant will not go bad. As long as you have a fully sealed cylinder and there are no leaks on the cylinder you refrigerant will last indefinitely. The only risk that you have is if your cylinder or valve gets compromised. Other than that your cylinder is a sealed unit and will not deplete or leak any refrigerant over it’s life time.

There are many people who will purchase a few cylinders of refrigerant that is about to be phased out. Once they have they cylinders they will sit on them for years. They either want them for ‘just in case,’ or to potentially sell down the road when the price goes up.

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The rule of thumb is two to four pounds of refrigerant per ton of your machine. Most home air conditioning units are between one ton and five tons. So, with that in mind if you have a three ton unit then you would need between six pounds of refrigerant upwards to twelve pounds of refrigerant.

It is important to note that these are rough estimates and the exact measurement of refrigerant that your unit needs varies. It is always best practice to review the exact specifications on your unit to see exactly what you need.

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The rule of thumb is two to four pounds of refrigerant per ton of your air conditioning unit. Now most home air conditioning units are between one ton and five tons. Anything over five tons or greater is considered a commercial unit.

Let’s say you have a two ton home unit. If we do the math of four pounds of refrigerant times two tons of your unit you end up with eight pounds of refrigerant required.

As I said above that is the typical rule of thumb. Each machine/unit is different and each manufacturer is different. It is always best practice to physical check your unit and see exactly how much refrigerant is needed.

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The Refrigerant Sales Restriction is a Federal Law enforced under the Environmental Protection Agency. The law states that CFC and HCFC refrigerants can only be sold to EPA certified personnel. Those who are not certified cannot legally buy, handle, or use these refrigerants.

The restriction was put in place due to the O-Zone damaging Chlorine that the CFC and HCFC refrigerants contain. Both the CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned across the world under the Montreal Protocol due to the Chlorine they contained.

The most popular refrigerants that fall under this restriction are R-12, R-22, and R-502. In order to purchase R-22 or R-502 you will need to be section 608 certified with the EPA. If you are looking to purchase R-12 you will need to be section 609 certified with the EPA.

It is important to note that HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-134a, and R-404A are NOT covered under this sales restriction. If you are looking to purchase an HFC refrigerant you can without a license. This may change in time, but as of 2015 anyone can purchase these refrigerants. It is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

Lastly, please do not attempt to go around these restrictions. This is Federal Law. If you violate this law you could potentially have the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Government coming to your door. There are numerous instances of the government going after individuals and or companies that violate this law.

For more on the Refrigerant Sales Restriction click here to go to the EPA’s website.

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Stop! If your unit is running low in refrigerant there is another problem. The refrigerant that is used in your system is done so through a closed system. The refrigerant cycles back and forth between liquid and gas in a continuous loop. You should never run out of refrigerant. If your system is running low or is out of refrigerant than that means that you have a leak somewhere in your unit.

If you spend a bunch of money refilling your ac unit with new refrigerant but do not fix the leak than you will find yourself in the same position in the not too distant future.

Fix the leak first, and then refill your refrigerant.

Be wary of contractors who need to ‘top off’ your refrigerant levels. Your refrigerant levels should stay constant unless there is a leak.

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You can store refrigerants for as long as you would like. The gas will not go bad as long as there is not a leak in your cylinder. If your cylinder is completely sealed you can hold onto your refrigerant for years without any worry. There are many people who still have a hold of R-12 refrigerant from the early 1990s. Product is still good too!

Some people will keep an eye out for upcoming phase outs of refrigerants and if they see a potential big phase out coming they will buy a few cylinders of that refrigerant and sit on it for years and years. They’ll either keep it for personal use or hold on to it until the price sky rockets and then sell it for a huge profit.

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POE Oil, or Poly Olester Oil, is a synthetic oil that is used in refrigeration compressors and the refrigeration system with Hydroflurocarbon refrigerants. These oils really became popular with the debut of R-410A refrigerant about ten years ago. But it can be used with other refrigerants such as R-22. Just do not mix mineral oil with Poly Olester Oil and always check the compressor to see what they call for.

A points of note on these oils:

  • POE oil is hygroscopic. What that means is that when they come in contact with air they have the ability to absorb it’s moisture. If you are working on a unit that uses POE oil then you need to ensure that the system is open and exposed to the atmosphere in as short as time as possible. Otherwise you risk damaging the compressor or other vital components.
  • You may have noticed that when working with POE oil that it comes in a metal container rather than a plastic one. This is done because Poly Olester Oil can actually absorb moisture through the walls of a plastic container.
  • When moisture does get in your POE oil it is very difficult to remove. The moisture will stay dissolved in the oil and cannot be removed by applying a vacuum. The only way it can be removed is by using a desiccant.
  • Standard servicing procedure is to replace the liquid line drier when a system is opened for servicing. This is even more important when working with POE oils.
  • Always always check what type of oil the compressor and the unit takes before adding more. Even if you think you know it is always better to be safe then sorry.
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Global Warming Potential, also known as GWP, a measurement of how much heat a specific greenhouse gas can trap within the atmosphere. Something with a higher Global Warming number will have a much more harmful effect on the environment then another with a much lower number. As we all know with every type of scale or measurement we need a baseline or a zero out number. In other words, we need a control to compare GWP numbers to. In the case of GWP our control substance is Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide has a GWP rating of one. Yes, that’s right one.

So, now that we have the baseline we can begin to look at other substances and see how they compare on the GWP scale. If we look at one of the most popular refrigerants on the market today, R-410A, we can see that it has a GWP number of two-thousand and eighty-eight. Let’s think about that number for a second. R-410A refrigerant has more than two-thousand times the potency on the environment then Carbon Dioxide.

That example right there folks is why there is a big push to phase down or phase out high Global Warming Potential substances and chemicals. Refrigerants are included in these phase downs.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson
RefrigerantHQ

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Saturation point on a refrigerant is the same as a boiling point or a condensing point. In other words, the saturation point is the temperature at which the refrigerant changes states rather it be from liquid to gas or from gas to liquid. Each refrigerant has a different boiling points or saturation points and even when you are dealing with the same refrigerant the saturation point can change depending on the pressure that is measured.

For those of you who do not know boiling points on gases or liquids can change depending on the pressure on the chemical. So, while we all know water freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit what you may not know is that this freeze only occurs when water is at one atmospheric pressure. (Also known as Sea Level.) If this pressure changes then the actual freezing point or boiling point of water will change as well.

In the air conditioning world everything is controlled by temperatures and pressure. So, depending on the pressure of the refrigerant you are dealing with the boiling point or saturation point will change. In order to determine this saturation temperatures technicians will measure the pressure and then convert the pressure reading over to the corresponding temperature. This can either be done with refrigerant specific gauges or with a portable refrigerant pressure temperature chart.

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There are many kinds of refrigerant and or Refrigerant on the market today, but only a few that are widely used:

  • R-134a refrigerant is primarily used in automobile applications. It is classified as an HFC refrigerant and has been banned in some countries due to it’s global warming potential.
  • R-12 was THE refrigerant back in the 20th century for automobile applications. It was banned in 1994 due to it harming the O-Zone layer. It was replaced by R-134a. R-12 is an CFC refrigerant.
  • 1234YF is a new type of refrigerant that will be slowly replacing R-134a applications. Some automobile manufacturers have already switched over to the new HFO class of refrigerant known as 1234YF.
  • R-410A is primarily used for home and commercial units made on or after 2010. It is also an HFC refrigerant.
  • R-22 was the primary Refrigerant used for home and commercial units but was banned due to the harm it caused to the O-Zone layer. It was replaced by R-410A in 2010. R-22 is an CFC refrigerant.
  • R-404A is primarily used transport refrigeration. It is an HFC refrigerant as well.

It is important to note that HFC refrigerant such as R134a, R410A, and R404A are being slowly phased out due to their high global warming potential. They will most likely all be replaced by new HFO refrigerant equivalents.

If you are looking to purchase refrigerant check out our product pages below:

Please note that on some refrigerants you will need to be EPA certified in order to purchase.

Thanks for reading!

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There are many types of refrigerant available and it can be rather confusing as to what type of Refrigerant your home HVAC or your vehicle takes. There are four major kinds of refrigerant today. You have your R-410A and your R-22 for your home/commercial units. You also have your R-134A and your R-12 refrigerants for your vehicles.

Below is a quick guide on how to identify what type of refrigerant you need:

Vehicles

There are a few types of refrigerants used in vehicles. The most common type today is the R-134A. In the past R-12 was the go to refrigerant for vehicles. R-12 was phased out from production in compliance with the Montreal Protocol in 1995. (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.)

Vehicle manufacturers begin switching to R-134A between 1992 and 1994. If your vehicle was made after this date (Which was twenty years ago, so I would hope so!) then your vehicle is using R-134A refrigerant. Since R-134A is an HFC you can purchase and use it without having to be licensed with the Environmental Protection Agency. R-134A can be bought in 12 ounce cans or in thirty pound jugs.

If you are in need of R-12 Refrigerant you are going to end up paying an arm and a leg to get a hold of some. Since R-12 was phased out almost twenty years ago the price have gone up exponentially. I’ve seen some thirty pound jugs sell for over a thousand dollars. Also, in order to purchase and handle R-12 Refrigerant you need to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. You will not be able to buy this without providing your certification number to a seller.

Home Units

There are two possible types of refrigerants that are used in your home air conditioning unit. The most common refrigerant is R-22 Refrigerant and other is R-410A. Most units made prior to 2010 will be taking R-22 Refrigerant and ALL units made in 2010 or newer are required to take R-410A refrigerant. So, it is just a matter finding out when your machine was manufactured.

R-22 has been the standard HVAC refrigerant for many years but in recent years has begun to be phased out due to the ‘Montreal Protocol.’ (Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the O-Zone layer by phasing out production of chemicals that are harmful to the O-Zone.) The short version is that R-22 falls into the chemical group of Hydrocholoroflurocarbons, or HCFCs. HCFCs contain the chemical Chlorine which negatively affects the O-Zone layer.

In compliance with the Montreal Protocol the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency mandated that no new R-22 machines can be manufactured after 2009. Any new HVAC unit built in 2010 or greater will now take the R-410A refrigerant. If you have a unit that takes R-22 Refrigerant you are still able to buy some on the market today, but you will need to be certified with the EPA before your can purchase or handle R-22. If you are not certified you will need to have an HVAC company service your unit. Lastly, in 2020 the production R-22 will be banned in the United States. You will still be able to purchase it but you will see the price sky rocket over the next few years. If you do find that you need R-22 in the future it may make more sense to just purchase a new R-410A unit instead.

R-410A is a Hydroflurocarbon, or HFCs, and has no negative affects on the O-Zone layer. It is the future of Refrigerant for home and commercial air conditioning units. Although HFCs are an improvement from the damaging R-22 they are not perfect. They may not damage the O-Zone but they are greenhouse gases and have a higher Global Warming contribution then it’s predecessor R-22.

R-410A is not widely spread today as most units prior to 2010 were using R-22 Refrigerant. However, as the years go on R-410A is going to be the dominant Refrigerant in the marketplace. Since R-410A is an HFC refrigerant you do NOT need to be certified to purchase or handle it. This gives all you do-it-yourselfers the ability to purchase Refrigerant online and not have to worry about breaking any regulations.

If you are interested in purchasing Refrigerant please visit our Product Page by clicking here!

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There are hundreds of types of refrigerant that have been developed over the years. You can follow this link to Wikipedia for a complete listing. The list may seem daunting, but there are really only a few types of freon that are widely used in the market today.

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Refrigerant is a hazardous gas and storage of Refrigerant should not be taken lightly. No matter if you have R-134A, R-410A, R-22, or any other kind of Refrigerant you need to take the proper steps and precautions. Below are a few key points to remember when storing your Refrigerant:

  • Ensure that all your cylinders be stored up right and are without risk of tipping over.
  • Refrigerant should be stored into a well ventilated area and temperatures should NOT exceed over 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperate becomes too hot pressure can build inside the container which could cause the container to rupture. This could cause the release valve to fail which could result in an explosion of the product.
  • Ensure all Refrigerant containers/cylinders have pressure release devices to avoid combustion and or explosions.
  • Ensure there are no combustible or flammable materials nearby the containers.
  • Perform regular visual inspections of your cylinders to ensure that everything is in good order.
  • Limit the number of people who have access to your Refrigerant, as the more people who have access the higher your chance of an incident. Also, please keep out of reach of children.

Refrigerant can be dangerous, or it can be very safe. It is up to you to take the per-cautions when storing your product. Well, that about covers storage requirements for Refrigerant.

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EPA Certification (5)

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Yes, R-502 is a CFC refrigerant and was phased out in the 1990s due to it’s effect on the O-Zone layer. In order to purchase R-502 you need to be 608 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency.

You can read more about certification in our post on Licensing. R-502 is banned across most of the world and most applications are discontinued at this point in time in 2015.

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No. You cannot purchase R-22 refrigerant if you are only certified under 609. You will need to have a valid 608 certification as well in order to legally purchase or handle R-22 refrigerant. 609 certification only covers automotive air conditioning units. If the vehicle you are working on either has a secondary cooling unit or the vehicle takes a different type of refrigerant such as R-22 or R-404A you will need to be 608 certified.

You can read more on this subject by reviewing the excerpt from the EPA’s site below or by clicking this link to the EPA’s site.

“Effective, September 22, 2003, EPA has limited the sale of ozone-depleting refrigerants intended for use with stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment to section 608 technicians. Therefore, section 609 technicians cannot purchase R-22, regardless of container size.

Note, that for purposes of maintenance, repair, service, or disposal, that buses using R-22 are not defined as MVACs; therefore, Section 608 certification (Type II or Universal) is required to service buses using R-22.”

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The Refrigerant Sales Restriction is a Federal Law enforced under the Environmental Protection Agency. The law states that CFC and HCFC refrigerants can only be sold to EPA certified personnel. Those who are not certified cannot legally buy, handle, or use these refrigerants.

The restriction was put in place due to the O-Zone damaging Chlorine that the CFC and HCFC refrigerants contain. Both the CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned across the world under the Montreal Protocol due to the Chlorine they contained.

The most popular refrigerants that fall under this restriction are R-12, R-22, and R-502. In order to purchase R-22 or R-502 you will need to be section 608 certified with the EPA. If you are looking to purchase R-12 you will need to be section 609 certified with the EPA.

It is important to note that HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-134a, and R-404A are NOT covered under this sales restriction. If you are looking to purchase an HFC refrigerant you can without a license. This may change in time, but as of 2015 anyone can purchase these refrigerants. It is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

Lastly, please do not attempt to go around these restrictions. This is Federal Law. If you violate this law you could potentially have the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Government coming to your door. There are numerous instances of the government going after individuals and or companies that violate this law.

For more on the Refrigerant Sales Restriction click here to go to the EPA’s website.

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Unfortunately, no.  609 certification is only meant for automotive applications. You are authorized to handle R-12 and R-134a, but anything else that is not directly correlated to your automotive cab you are not authorized to handle. Examples of this include refrigerated cargo or other secondary refrigeration systems in your van or truck. Another example would be the Thermoking or Carrier applications. You will need to be 608 certified to work these units.

If you wish to purchase R-22 refrigerant you will need to be 608 EPA certified. To clarify a bit more you will need to be section 2 608 certified as well as having passed the core competency of 608. Fore more information on 608 visit this link.

 

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Yes, as long as you are only buying HFC refrigerants. Thankfully, HFCs include some of the most popular types of Refrigerant. HFCs include R-410A, R-134A, and R-404A. Any newer home HVAC unit is going to be using R-410A Refrigerant (2010 or newer.) and any automotive vehicle in the last ten years will be using R-134A. So, the short answer is as long as you are working on a fairly new unit you will be able to purchase Refrigerant.

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R-134a (8)

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I would not recommend it. You should be using the pag oil that is referenced by your compressor’s manufacturer. These manufacturers test varying types of oil and choose the one that best protects their individual design.

Each compressor and or manufacturer may recommend a different variant of pag oil and by following their instructions you will prolong the life of your compressor and your air conditioning system.

If you are looking to purchase pag oil then hop over to Ebay for the best bargain!

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R-134a was already phased out in the European Union a few years ago and it was just announced in July 2015 that it will be phased out in the United States as well. The phase out date of R-134a in the United States is the year 2020, or on 2021 vehicle model years. I did a full article on this and it can be found by clicking this link.  134a is an HFC refrigerant and has a high Global Warming Potential of over 1,300. Due to it’s high global warming potential there is a widespread push to phase it out across the world and to replace it with a new environmentally friendly alternative refrigerant known as 1234YF.

 

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PAG oil, or Polyalkylene Glycol, is a fully synthetic hygroscopic oil specifically designed for automotive air conditioner compressors. It is used in R-134a air conditioning systems to lubricate the compressor. When looking at PAG oil you will notice various numbers such as PAG46 or PAG100. These numbers refer to the viscosity of the oil, similar to 10W30 oil. In order to determine the correct PAG viscosity for your vehicle you will need to look up the specifications of your make and model of your vehicle either online or in the instruction manual.

 

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This one is a bit tricky. If we travel back in time to before 2018 then no, you did not need a license to purchase R-134a cylinders. However, as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click this link for the exact wording from the EPA’s website. As I write this post in March of 2018 I can safely say that this new regulation has caused a lot of upset across the industry. No longer can the do-it-yourselfers purchase thirty pound cylinders of R-134a. No, now in order to purchase you have to be 609 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency.

It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this rule. The first is that if you provide a signed document with your address, phone, and business stating that you will resell the R-134a product and that you will not use it then you can still purchase. This is known as a certificate of resale. The other work around is that you are still able to purchase 134a cans that come in under two pounds. So, while you can’t get your thirty pound cylinders anymore you can still get the product just in a much smaller quantity. I usually recommend purchasing these cans from our Amazon partner. You can see their R-134a can selection by clicking here.

While R-134a does not contain Chlorine like previously banned refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22, 134a does have an extremely high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is a measurement of how potent a gas is when released into the atmosphere. These gases are known as greenhouse gases. 134a has an extremely high GWP number of one-thousand four-hundred and thirty. What that means is that 134a is over one-thousand times more potent to the climate then Carbon Dioxide.

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In July 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the United State would be phasing out 134a across the country. The date that was picked was the year 2020 for total phase out in new vehicles. (2021 model year.) There was one exception made for vehicles being exported out of the country. Exported vehicles will have to be in compliance in the year 2024, or 2025 model year.

Over the next few years expect to see the price of 134a to slowly increase and to begin seeing 1234YF become more and more mainstream throughout the country. You can read more about this in an article I wrote earlier this week by clicking here.

 

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As of January 1st, 2018 you will need a section 609 certification with the Environmental Protection Agency. This was changed due to the high Global Warming Potential that 134A has. It is known as a ‘supergas’ and contributes highly to Global Warming. For more information on how to obtain a 609 license click this link to be taken to our refrigerant licensing guide.

It should be noted that there is an exception to these rules for the weekend warriors out there. People who are not certified to handle refrigerants can still purchase two pounds or less canisters at their local stores. So, if I needed to recharge my Camry then all I would need to do is go to my local parts store or Amazon.com and Purchase Refrigerant R134a for MVAC use. This can be done without a license. So, there is hope!

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

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R-134a is the default refrigerant for all automotive applications. If you own a  car between 1994 and 2015 chances are that it takes R-134a. 134a is classified as an HFC refrigerant and does not contain Chlorine.

Just as R-22 was phased out residential and commercial units R-12 was phased out of the automotive market. R-134A is it’s replacement. R-134A has exploded in use over the last ten years with most all new vehicles being R-134A only.

R-134a’s peak may be waning over the next few years due to it’s high global warming potential. 134a has already been banned in the European Union and there are steps being taken to have it banned in America as well as to have it added to the Montreal Protocol. HFO refrigerants, mainly 1234YF, will be the primary replacement when 134a is gone.

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Yes! With past refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22 you needed to be licensed to handle the refrigerant as they caused damage to the O-Zone layer and a laymen could inadvertently cause a leak of the cylinder.

R-134A, R-404A, and R-410A are HFC refrigerants which do NOT cause damage to the O-Zone layer but they do have extremely high greenhouse gas emissions. While you can still purchase them today it is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

EPA’s website on 608 and 609 sales restriction.

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R-404A (6)

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Yes, it is. The Environmental Protection Agency just announced in July of 2015 that R-404A will begin being phased out across the country. Like most phase outs this will occur in phases over the course of many years. The EPA has listed R-404a as unacceptable in newly manufactured machines for the years 2017 and 2019 depending on the application.

New supermarket refrigerant systems will no longer be able to use R-404A as of January 1st, 2017. Vending machines get a little bit more time, their deadline is January 1st, 2019. So far, supermarkets and vending machine refrigeration units are the only ones affected with the new EPA ruling but this will be subject to change and it won’t be long until all R-404A is phased out entirely across the country across all applications.

In fact ThermoKing and Carrier Transicold have already begun transitioning away from R-404A and into less Global Warming Potential alternatives such as R-452A. Coca-Cola has already begun outfitting all of their vending machines with Carbon Dioxide refrigerant rather than R-404A as well.

I’ll give R-404A to around years 2020-2021 before it’s completely gone from the market place and replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives.

You can read more about the EPA’s new July, 2015 ruling by clicking here.

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As of 2015 no, but that may change. 404A is an HFC refrigerant and does not harm the O-Zone layer so therefore you do not need to have any kind of certification to purchase. However, HFC refrigerants are slowly being phased out due to their high global warming potential. Nothing official has been declared yet but it won’t be long until HFCs are regulated just as CFCs and HCFCs are.

UPDATE as of December of 2016:

It is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

EPA’s website on 608 and 609 sales restriction.

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There are numerous places to purchase R404A refrigerant but before you start digging into which vendor to use and which pricing to look for you need to ask yourself one question. How many cylinders am I looking to purchase? If you’re looking to purchase just one or two cylinders then I would recommend you shop on E-Bay. E-Bay gives you the ease of business, customer protection, and a competitive cost.

You could try other online websites but to be honest there is risk involved in dealing with a website that you are not familiar with. I like E-Bay as it is customer orientated. If the seller messes up you get your money back. E-Bay makes the sellers do the work and protects their buyers. There’s a reason they’ve been so successful.

If you are looking to purchase ten, twenty, or even forty cylinders of R404A then I would recommend visiting our Bulk Purchasing page and filling out a bulk order request form. Once we received the completed notification we will send out an alert to our contacts in the refrigerant distribution industry. Our distributors will then contact you with the most competitive price that they can offer and it will be up to you on which supplier to go with. This service provides you with competitive real time costs as well as giving you a number of highly rated suppliers to choose from.

One thing to note is that with some refrigerants you need to either be 608 or 609 Environmental Protection Agency certified in order to purchase. With R-404A you will need to provide a 608 certification in order to purchase. This recently changed, as before 2018 you did not need a certification license.

If you are a purchaser looking to buy in bulk quantities such as five, ten, or more cylinders then please visit our bulk purchasing page to receive a quote.

Lastly,  if you are looking to purchase a cylinder or two of R-404A check out some of the offerings from E-Bay.

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As of January 1st, 2018 you will need a section 608 type 2 certification with the Environmental Protection Agency. This was changed due to the high Global Warming Potential that 404A has. It is known as a ‘supergas’ and contributes highly to Global Warming. For more information on how to obtain a 608 license click this link to be taken to our refrigerant licensing guide.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

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R-404A Refrigerant or R404/R404A Refrigerant is a mixture of chemicals similar to other HFCs such as R-410A or R-134A. R-404A isn’t as popular as the 410A or the 134A it’s main applications are for refrigerated trucks, grocery store freezers, and ice machines. It’s main purpose is to serve as a replacement for R-22 and R-502 Refrigerant as both of these CFCs will be phased out entirely by 2020. Since R-404A Refrigerant is classifed as an HFC refrigerant you do NOT need a licence wit the EPA to purchase it.

It is important to note that since 404A is an HFC refrigerant with high global warming potential that it will most likely be phased out over the next few years. New HFO refrigerants will be replacing HFCs in America around the year 2020.

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Yes! With past refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22 you needed to be licensed to handle the refrigerant as they caused damage to the O-Zone layer and a laymen could inadvertently cause a leak of the cylinder.

R-134A, R-404A, and R-410A are HFC refrigerants which do NOT cause damage to the O-Zone layer but they do have extremely high greenhouse gas emissions. While you can still purchase them today it is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

EPA’s website on 608 and 609 sales restriction.

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R-410A (5)

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There are numerous places to purchase R410a refrigerant online or through distributors. Before you consider purchasing and start looking at all of the available sources it is best to ask yourself one question: How many cylinders of R-410A am I going to purchase? If you are just looking to purchase one to two cylinders at a time then I would recommend shopping online through E-Commerce websites such like Ebay. If you are looking to purchase multiple cylinders at a time then I would suggest visiting our bulk refrigerant page to fill out information for a quote.

If you are looking for one or two cylinders then I recommend Ebay over other E-Commerce sites. Reason being is that  Ebay is customer friendly and seller conspicuous. If something goes wrong it is on the seller to fix the problem. If they can’t fix it guess what? You get your money back. They are all about customer service. So, if you’re not happy then they are not happy. Who knows what will happen when you order from a no name site. Your order could not ship out, wrong product shipped, or you could get the cylinder only to find out it is empty and there is no refrigerant inside. (I’ve seen it happen!)

If you are looking to purchase ten, twenty, or even forty cylinders of R410A then I would recommend visiting our Bulk Purchasing page and filling out a bulk order request form. Once we received the completed notification we will send out an alert to our contacts in the refrigerant distribution industry. Our distributors will then contact you with the most competitive price that they can offer and it will be up to you on which supplier to go with. This service provides you with competitive real time costs as well as giving you a number of highly rated suppliers to choose from.

One thing to note is that with some refrigerants you need to either be 608 or 609 Environmental Protection Agency certified in order to purchase. With R-410A, since it is an HFC refrigerant, you DO need to be certified in order to purchase or handle. This changed as of January 1st, 2018. Before then you could buy without a license as of today you will need to be certified.

Again, if you are a purchaser looking to buy in bulk quantities such as five, ten, or more cylinders then please visit our bulk purchasing page to receive a quote.

Lastly,  if you are looking to purchase a cylinder or two of R-410A check out these offerings from Ebay

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As of January 1st, 2018 you will need a section 608 type 2 certification with the Environmental Protection Agency. This was changed due to the high Global Warming Potential that 410A has. It is known as a ‘supergas’ and contributes highly to Global Warming. For more information on how to obtain a 608 license click this link to be taken to our refrigerant licensing guide.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

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R-410A refrigerant was invented and patented by Honeywell in 1991. Carrier Corporation was the first company to introduce R-410A air conditioning unit the residential market in 1996 and they hold the trademark name ‘Puron.’ 410A is classified as an HFC refrigerant and does not contain Chlorine and is not harmful to the O-Zone.

R-410A replaced R-22 as the main refrigerant for residential and commercial AC units, freezers, and refrigerators. As of 2010 no new AC machines can be manufactured using R-22 , all future machines have to use R-410A . R-410A has a HUGE opportunity and is the short term is the future of home and commercial applications.

That being said, 410A is an HFC refrigerant and thusly has a high global warming potential. 134a, a cousin of 410A, is being banned across countries due to it’s high global warming potential. I feel that it is only a matter of time before 410A is phased out as well. HFO refrigerants will be the future.

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Yes! With past refrigerants such as R-12 and R-22 you needed to be licensed to handle the refrigerant as they caused damage to the O-Zone layer and a laymen could inadvertently cause a leak of the cylinder.

R-134A, R-404A, and R-410A are HFC refrigerants which do NOT cause damage to the O-Zone layer but they do have extremely high greenhouse gas emissions. While you can still purchase them today it is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

EPA’s website on 608 and 609 sales restriction.

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Yes. Because of the higher pressure, you should use manifold gauge sets designed for R-410A. In addition, you should use a recovery machine and recovery tanks designed for the higher pressure of R-410A.

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1234YF (3)

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1234YF is still new to the market in the United States. Not only is it difficult to find but it is also much higher priced than traditional R-134a refrigerant.

If you are looking to purchase 1234YF please contact us and we will get with some of our distributors and have them get back to you with a price.

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HFO-1234YF is one of the new class of refrigerants known as HFOs. HFOs are designed to replace the HCFCs that are in current use today. 1234YF is the replacement product for the most commonly used refrigerant in automotive applications known as R-134a. 134a is being replaced due to it’s high global warming potential of 1,320. It’s new replacement 1234YF has a global warming potential of 4. This huge differnce will have a large impact on greenhouse gases in the environment.

Now, not everyone has switched over to 1234YF yet. As I write this in January of 2015 the European Union has banned usage of 134a and has switched over to 1234YF. The United States is also taking steps to slowly phase out 134 and replace it with 1234YF. American and foreign automobile manufacturers have already begun switching over to the alternative refrigerant as well.

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This one is a bit tricky. The short answer is that today, in 2018, yes you need to be 609 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. If we travel back in time to before 2018 then no, you did not need a license to purchase 1234yf cylinders. However, as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, 404A, 12324yf. Click this link for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.

It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this rule. The first is that if you provide a signed document with your address, phone, and business stating that you will resell the 1234yf product and that you will not use it then you can still purchase. This is known as a certificate of resale. Please note that if you go this route then the burden will be on you and your company to gather customer’s 609 certification numbers.

The other work around is that you are still able to purchase 1234yf cans that come in under two pounds. So, while you can’t get your ten pound cylinders anymore you can still get the product just in a much smaller quantity. I usually recommend purchasing these cans from our Amazon partner. For example Amazon’s Air Conditioner R1234YF Refrigerant, AC Recharge Kit.

Please note that these rules are not meant to punish anyone. In fact, they are meant to keep large quantities of refrigerant out of the hands of novices. If used incorrectly and refrigerant is vented into the atmosphere then you could be actively harming the climate and the environment. These rules and regulations are meant to protect the environment.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

RefrigerantHQ

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R-12 (2)

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R12 is difficult to find now a days. It was phased out all the way back in 1994 and was replaced with R-134a. There are very few places where you can actively buy R-12 today. Before you consider purchasing R-12 you should ask yourself one question: “How many cylinders or cans am I looking to purchase?”

If you are looking to purchase just one or two cylinders of R-12 then I would recommend shopping online through E-Commerce stores. There are numerous E-Commerce stores to choose from but I highly recommend that you use E-Bay for your R-12 purchases. E-Bay is extremely customer friendly and they strive for the customer to be happy with their purchase. The best way to put it is E-Bay is on the buyer’s side rather than the sellers. If something goes wrong with the purchase E-Bay will side with you rather than the seller.

If you are looking to purchase ten, twenty, or even forty cylinders of R22 then I would recommend visiting our Bulk Purchasing page and filling out a bulk order request form. Once we received the completed notification we will send out an alert to our contacts in the refrigerant distribution industry. Our distributors will then contact you with the most competitive price that they can offer and it will be up to you on which supplier to go with. This service provides you with competitive real time costs as well as giving you a number of highly rated suppliers to choose from.

One important thing to note with R12 is that in order to purchase and handle R12 you need to be certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. If you purchase R-12 without being certified you risk violating the Federal Clean Air Act. (You do not want to do that!) Most sellers on E-Bay will require one of two things before you purchase. Either a copy of your certification license number or a signed letter of intent to resale this product do a different end user. Be prepared to provide one or the other when purchasing.

If you are a purchaser looking to buy in bulk quantities such as five, ten, or more cylinders then please visit our bulk purchasing page to receive a quote.

Lastly,  if you are looking to purchase a cylinder or two of R12 Refrigerant check out Ebay by clicking this link.

 

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R-12 Refrigerant is the original Refrigerant. At one point in time it was used for everything including home air conditioning units, automobiles, and refrigerators. It was invented by a partnership of DuPont and General Motors back in the 1920s and was being used as the primary type of Refrigerant for home units until the 1950s. In the 1950s the newer R-22 Refrigerant took over the home and refrigerator market. R-22 was easier on the compressors and didn’t’ require as big of pipes to flow through.

Even though R-12 lost the home market it was still THE Refrigerant to use in automobiles. In 1994 the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that all new vehicles use R-134A Refrigerant rather than the R-12 Refrigerant that was used for over seventy years. The EPA mandated this change due to the Chlorine found in the R-12 Refrigerant. Chlorine damages the O-Zone layer and due to the amount of the vehicles on the road there was significant damage being done to the O-Zone layer. The R-134A Refrigerant does not harm the O-Zone layer. (Although it does produce greenhouse gases which contribute to Global Warming.)

R-12 has been phased out for twenty years now. (1994-2014.) If you have a vehicle older than 1994 you have two choices. You can either retrofit your car so that it will be compatible with R-134A Refrigerant, or you can try to purchase some R-12 Refrigerant from a supplier or online. If you choose the latter be prepared to pay a hefty price. I’ve seen R-12 Refrigerant go from $500.00 a cylinder all the way up to $1,100.00 a cylinder. If it was me I would go the retrofitting route rather than purchasing. This allows you to use the common and less expensive R-134A Refrigerant and it also keeps you in compliance with EPA regulations. R-12 is strictly regulated by the government and if you were to accidentally vent some of the R-12 Refrigerant into the atmosphere you could face very hefty fines.

All in all R-12 is the dinosaur of Refrigerant. It’s going to be completely extinct here in the next ten to twenty years. But, it did serve a purpose as it was the first Refrigerant and provided cooling for the world for nearly a century.

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R-22 (5)

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R-22a is a different name for the hydrocarbon refrigerant known as R-290. (Propane) R-290 has seen widespread usage throughout the world except in the United States. Earlier this year (2015) the EPA approved Propane to be used in NEW machines manufactured this year. I empathize new as there have been instances of companies marketing R-22a or R-290 as an alternative to the R-22 refrigerant that has been phased out.

R-22 machines made prior to 2010 are not meant to take R-22a/Propane. Yet, these companies who are selling R-22a are advertizing it as a drop in replacement, no retrofitting needed. This can be dangerous. Not only is it bad for your air conditioning unit but since you are dealing with propane the chance of explosion is extremely high. I would highly avoid purchasing R-22a to replace your current R-22 Refrigerant.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

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R-22 Refrigerant is a little difficult to find now a days. Since R-22 is a CFC refrigerant it has been slowly phased out over the past few years and will be phased out completely around 2020. If you are looking to purchase R-22 you need to ask yourself one question: “How many cylinders am I looking to purchase?” That one question will determine where you want to shop and what kind of price you should be expecting.

If you will be buying just one or two cylinders of R22 refrigerant than I would recommend shopping online through E-Commerce websites. There are numerous websites out there to choose from but if I was to pick the best one out there today for one off refrigerant purchases I would choose E-Bay. E-Bay is a customer friendly website and will ensure that you are happy with your purchase. They are buyer orientated rather than seller. So, if something goes wrong with your purchase E-Bay will refund your money.

If you are looking to purchase ten, twenty, or even forty cylinders of R22 then I would recommend visiting our Bulk Purchasing page and filling out a bulk order request form. Once we received the completed notification we will send out an alert to our contacts in the refrigerant distribution industry. Our distributors will then contact you with the most competitive price that they can offer and it will be up to you on which supplier to go with. This service provides you with competitive real time costs as well as giving you a number of highly rated suppliers to choose from.

One important thing to note with R-22 is that in order to purchase and handle R22 you need to be 608 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. If you purchase R-22 without being 608 certified you risk violating the Federal Clean Air Act. (You do not want to do that!) Most sellers on E-Bay will require one of two things before you purchase. Either a copy of your 608 certification license number or a signed letter of intent to resale this product do a different end user. Be prepared to provide one or the other when purchasing.

If you are a purchaser looking to buy in bulk quantities such as five, ten, or more cylinders then please visit our bulk purchasing page to receive a quote.

Lastly,  if you are looking to purchase a cylinder or two of R22 Refrigerant check out some of the offerings from E-Bay.

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Yes, you will need to be EPA 608 certified in order to handle or purchase R-22 Refrigerant/Refrigerant. R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant and contains Chlorine. In the 1970s it was found that when Chlorine is released into the atmosphere it inadvertently causes damage to the O-Zone layer.

CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned in the United States and across the world by the Montreal Protocol due to the Chlorine that they contained. Today you can still purchase R-22 but you will have to be certified with the EPA. If you purchase or handle R-22 without certification from the EPA or without an intent to resale the product you will be in violation of the Federal Clean Air Act.

The certification ensures that only qualified personnel are handling the R-22 refrigerant. These technicians will not accidentally vent the R-22 into the atmosphere. If a laymen was working with R-22 they may accidentally vent the Refrigerant into the environment and damage the O-Zone layer.

 

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Unfortunately, no.  609 certification is only meant for automotive applications. You are authorized to handle R-12 and R-134a, but anything else that is not directly correlated to your automotive cab you are not authorized to handle. Examples of this include refrigerated cargo or other secondary refrigeration systems in your van or truck. Another example would be the Thermoking or Carrier applications. You will need to be 608 certified to work these units.

If you wish to purchase R-22 refrigerant you will need to be 608 EPA certified. To clarify a bit more you will need to be section 2 608 certified as well as having passed the core competency of 608. Fore more information on 608 visit this link.

 

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Up until recently R-22 Refrigerant was the most common type of refrigerant for home and commercial air-conditioning units. Do you have an air-conditioning unit made before 2010? If so, it takes R-22.

Its popularity took off in the 1950s when it replaced R-12 Refrigerant for home and commercial use. As of January 1st, 2010 no new R-22 air-conditioners can be manufactured in the United States and other developed countries. In 2015 production of R-22 must be cut in half due to EPA regulation. Lastly, in 2020 the production of R-22 will be illegal in all major countries across the world. R-22 is being replaced with R-410A, or Puron. R-410A was invented in the early 1990s but really didn’t begin to gain popularity until the 2000s and it is the Refrigerant of the future. All new units from 2010 and on will be taking R-410A.

If you desire to purchase R-22 Refrigerant you must be certified to be handle refrigerants with the Environmental Protection Agency. If you do not have the certification you cannot legally purchase R-22 or R-12 Refrigerant. R-410A and R-134A you can purchase without any licensing. The sales restriction on R-22 is put in place to prevent laymen from releasing damaged Chlorine from R-22 into the atmosphere. Chlorine damages the O-Zone layer which is the main reason R-22 is being phased out.

R-22’s price is only expected to climb over the next few years. Today, August 2014, the price on a thirty pound cylinder of R-22 ranges from $300-$350. This is quite the difference compared to the R-410A price of $100-$130. Expect a big increase in price in 2015 when production of R-22 will be cut in half. I would expect it to spike to $500-$600 a jug next summer. In another five years when production of R-22 is banned I could definitely see the price per jug going over $1,000. (R-12 is typically over $1,000 per cylinder since it’s phase out.)

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Hydrocarbons (1)

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Hydrocarbon refrigerants are what’s known as ‘natural refrigerants.’ They are non-toxic, non O-zone depleting, and have a very low Global Warming Potential. On top of all that they are one of the most energy efficient refrigerants in the world today.

The time on flurionated gas refrigerants are coming to an end and they will all be phased out across the world over the next few decades. The hydrocarbon refrigerants will take their place. Hydrocarbons are already widely popular across Europe and Asia and are mostly found being used in refrigerator applications. As usual, the United States is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to alternative refrigerants… but give us time and you will begin to see hydrocarbons appear more and more across the US.

Some examples of hydrocarbon refrigerants are as follows:

  • R-290 (Propane)
  • R-600a (Isobutane)
  • R-1150 (Ethene/Ethylene)
  • R-1270 (Propene/Propylene)
  • R-170 (Ethane)
  • Various blends and mixes of the above products.
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R-452A (1)

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R-452A was just recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s SNAP program so it is has not yet seen mainstream usage in the United States. That being said it is very difficult to just buy one jug of R-452A at this time. I have contacted a few of my distributors and they have said that they cannot sell just a cylinder of R-452A. If you are looking to purchase 452A in multiple jug quantities then they would be able to get you an order placed.

R-452A is replacing R-404A, but R-404A is still seeing widespread use across the United States. So, 452A’s demand at this time is extremely low. Most refrigerant manufacturers such as DuPont or HoneyWell only sell refrigerants in pack quantities such as 5, 10, or 40 pieces. A distributor is not going to buy a pack of R452A just for a sale of one cylinder. They’ll be left with the excess cylinders in their inventory and since the demand is so low right now it will never sell.

If you are really looking for just one cylinder of 452A I would suggest contacting either your local ThermoKing or Carrier distributor and see if they can sell you a cylinder. As time progresses 452A will be easier to purchase, but as of right now (June, 2015) it is still a rare find.

 

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CFCs & HCFCs (6)

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CFCs, or Chlorofluorocarbons, are the original refrigerant. They consist of Carbon, Chlorine, and Fluorine. When you hear someone say ‘Refrigerant,’ they are referring to CFCs. HCFCs, or Hydrochloroflourocarbons, are the close neighbor of CFCs. The main difference between the two types of refrigerant is that HCFCs contain one additional hydrogen atom compared to CFCs.

Both CFCs and HCFCs were widely used in the twentieth century as refrigerants, propellants,  and solvents. CFCs were invented thrhttps://refrigeranthq.com/refrigerant/chloroflurocarbons/ough a joint venture of DuPont and General Motors in the early twentieth century and HCFCs were developed shortly afterwards.

For more information on both of these types of refrigerants I recommend reading our in-depth article on Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs).

The two most common CFCs and HCFCs are R-12 and R-22 Refrigerant. R-12 was the first type of mainstream refrigerant on the market. It took place of other more difficult to use refrigerants such as Carbon Dioxide. In the 1950s R-22 became popular and eventually became the main refrigerant to use in home and commercial air conditioning units. R-12 was primarily used for automobiles and other mobile air conditioning.

R-12’s reign ended after nearly eighty years as a mainstream refrigerant. In 1994 R-12 was phased out across the United States. R-22 soon followed suit and in 2010 R-22 was no longer allowed to be used in any new machines. In 2015 production and imports of R-22 was cut drastically, and in 2020 R-22 will be completely phased out in the United States.

CFCs and HCFCs were phased out due to the Chlorine that they contained. In the 1970s it was found out that the Chlorine was damaging the O-Zone layer and due to the excessive use and venting of CFCs/HCFCs into the atmosphere a hole in the O-Zone had formed. In an effort to solve the issue the Montreal Protocol was formed. Numerous countries signed the treaty and all pledged to phase out CFCs/HCFCs entirely.

Today CFCS and HCFCs may be history but they provided the building blocks to modern refrigeration.

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One word. Chlorine. In the 1970s it was found that Chlorine damaged the O-Zone layer. In the 1980s it was found that the O-Zone was so damaged that a hole began to form over Antarctica. Chlorine was the culprit.

One of the leading contributing factors to Chlorine being released into the atmosphere were CFC/HCFC refrigerants. Either knowingly, unknowingly, technicians would vent excess refrigerant into the atmosphere when working on an air conditioning unit. Repeated venting across fifty years across the world caused the hole to form in the O-Zone layer.

In order to prevent the hole from getting any bigger there was an agreement that was signed by numerous countries. The agreement mandated the phase out of all CFC and HCFC refrigerants. Some of the refrigerants included were R-12, R-22, and R-502. This agreement came to be known as the Montreal Protocol.

In 1994 the first phase-out began in the United States. R-12 was discontinued from usage in automobiles and was replaced with the HFC refrigerant known as R-134a. In 1999 R-502 was phased out in accordance to the Montreal Protocol and was replaced with HFC refrigerant known as R-404A.

Lastly, in 2010 R-22 began it’s first phase out steps. In 2010 no new R-22machines could be manufactured or imported into the United States. In 2015 the production and importing of R-22 was reduced drastically. In 2020 R-22 will be completely phased out. The alternative to R-22 is the HFC R-410A.

Due to the Montreal Protocol it is predicted that the O-Zone’s hole will seal completely and the O-Zone will return to normal towards the end of the 21st century. The Montreal Protocol is widely regarded as one of the most successful treaties in the modern world.

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As of today, in June of 2015, yes you can. However, the market on CFC/HCFC refrigerants is highly regulated. You will need to be 608 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency in order to purchase or handle any CFC/HCFC refrigerant. You can read more about certification by clicking here.

CFC/HCFCs are highly regulated due to the Chlorine that they contain. In the wrong hands a technician can vent the refrigerant into the atmosphere which would cause direct harm to the O-Zone layer. The regulation is in place to ensure that anyone who buys CFC/HCFC refrigerants knows the proper way to handle.

The most common CFC/HCFC refrigerants that people will be looking to purchase are R-12 and R-22. It’s rare to find an R-12 system now a days but R-22 is still fairly common across the United States. Both R-12 and R-22 can be found by shopping on E-Bay by clicking here. (Be aware if you purchase on E-Bay you will need to provide your certification number.)

****UPDATE AS OF 2018***

The EPA’s refrigerant restriction laws changed on January 1st, 2018. As today as I write this you will now NEED either 608 or 609 certification in order to purchase HFC refrigerants. The type of certification needed depends on what kind of refrigerant you will be purchasing. As an example, you will need 609 certification to purchase R-134a.

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The two most common CFC/HCFC refrigerants that you are going to come across are R-12 and R-22. You may also hear these called ‘Refrigerant.’ Refrigerant is DuPont’s brand name.  Refrigerant is almost seen as a generic term for those outside of the refrigeration industry.

R-12 is the oldest and is one of the original refrigerants from the early twentieth century. It was the first widely used refrigerant and was used everywhere until about the 1950s. In the 1950s R-22 came into the picture and saw widespread usage through home and commercial air conditioning units. R-12 was still used widely in automobile applications at this time as well.

R-12 was phased out all the way back in 1994, over twenty years ago. Whereas R-22 was phased out in 2010, so there are still quite a bit of R-22 machines still in service today. Chances are if you are looking for a CFC/HCFC it is most likely R-22. R-22 will be completely phased out come 2020, so there’s five years left! (June, 2015)

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The term or name Freon is commonly used all over the country to describe what is inside your home or vehicle’s air conditioner. While we have all heard of this term before many of us do not really know what Freon is, where it comes from, or how it works. First, let me explain that the term Freon refers to the refrigerant that is inside your air conditioner. Freon and refrigerant though are not inter-changeable. In fact, the name Freon is a brand of refrigerant.

Confused yet? Well, let’s put it this way. When you want a soda you may either say, ‘I want a soda,’ or you may say, ‘I want a Coke.’ There are two distinct differences here. The term soda is a generic name for various types of cola. The name Coke is referring to a specific brand of soda called Coca-Cola. The same logic can be applied to the term Freon and refrigerant.

The reason the Freon brand is so commonly used and referred to in today’s world is that the Freon brand was the first mainstream refrigerant that was used across the world. The Freon refrigerant was invented all the way back in the 1930’s through a partnership with the DuPont company and General Motors. Together the company synthesized the first CFC and HCFC refrigerants known as R-12 and R-22. These new classes of refrigerants were trademarked by DuPont under the brand name Freon.

The moment these new refrigerants were invented they began to take off in popularity. That was because they checked all of the boxes of what the world was looking for in a refrigerant. Past refrigerants such as Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and Hydrocarbons all had their own problems associated with them. They were either dangerous to operate due to their toxicity, they operated at too high of pressures and caused constant failures, or the refrigerant was just too expensive to use in mass.

The Freon branded refrigerants changed all of this and put refrigeration and air condiotn

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R-408A is classified as an HCFC refrigerant and has a low ozone depletion potential. It is a blend of R-22, an HCFC, and HFC refrigerants R-125 and R-143a. It has been blended to closely match the physical and refrigeration properties of R-502. The purpose of 408A was to serve as an interim drop-in replacement for low and medium temperature commercial R-502 units.

R-502 is a CFC refrigerant and was phased out in the 1990’s due to the Montreal Protocol agreement. Since R-408A is an HCFC refrigerant it contains Chlorine just like R-502 and has been phased out as well.

Sources

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Recover, Recycle, & Reclaim (1)

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Refrigerants are recovered to prevent them from leaking or being dispersed into the atmosphere. All types of refrigerant should be recovered either when opening a unit to work on it or during the disposal of a unit. If refrigerant is vented into the atmosphere there will be one of two effects:

  1. The Chlorine contained in CFC/HCFC refrigerants will work it’s way up into the atmosphere and will end up causing damage to the O-Zone layer. CFCs/HCFCs were phased out by the Montreal Protocol but there are still quite a few units in working order in 2015. If you are dealing with CFC/HCFC refrigerant be sure to recover as much refrigerant as possible. CFCs/HCFC are strictly monitored in the United States and across the world.
  2. If you are working with HFC refrigerants you will find that they do not harm the O-Zone layer if released into the atmosphere but they will contribute significantly to greenhouse gases that get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases have a direct effect on Global Warming. HFC refrigerants were the replacement for the old Chlorine containing refrigerants but it was found out that HFCs have a large Global Warming Potential, or GWP. HFCs will most likely be discontinued in the near future and either replaced with HFO refrigerants or Natural refrigerants.

Regardless of what refrigerant you are dealing with if you do not recover the refrigerant you are actively damaging the environment and you are breaking federal Environmental Protection law. So, it is always best practice to recover your refrigerant and store them in recovery cylinders.

The preferred recovery cylinder and recovery machine that I recommend are below from our Amazon partner.

The below cylinder is the highest rated recovery tank on Amazon with a combined review rating of 84%.

MASTERCOOL (Gray/Yellow Refrigerant Recovery Tank – 50 lb. Capacity)

The below recovery machine is again the highest rated recovery unit on Amazon at 93% positive reviews. This unit covers CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants. This includes R-22, R-134a, R-410A, R-404A, and many more types of refrigerants.

Yellow Jacket Refrigerant Recovery-Machine-1-2-HP-115V

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HFOs (4)

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HFO refrigerants, or HydroFluroOolefins, are a new class of refrigerants designed as an alternative to the commonly used HydroFluroCarbon refrigerants that are used today. Example HFC refrigerants are the popular R-134a, R-410A, and R-404A. It was found that HFC refrigerants had a high Global Warming Potential, or GWP. This high GWP contributed towards Global Warming and the push was on to find an alternative to the high GWP HFC refrigerants. It seems that HFO refrigerants are that new alternative.

The first HFO was designed as a partnership between Honeywell and The Chemours Company. (Formerly DuPont.) HFO-1234YF was created within this partnership and was marketed as a viable replacement for the automotive R-134a refrigerant. 1234YF has a GWP of 4 whereas the old R-134a had a GWP of 1,320. This was quite the change and many companies were excited to adopt the HFO. The new 1234YF is the standard refrigerant used across the European Union and now, in 2015, is seeing more widespread use across the United States.

On top of the 1234YF HFO there are numerous other HFO refrigerants that are in development under Honeywell’s Solstice and Chemour’s Opteon brand name. With every year that passes a new type of HFO alternative refrigerant is created and tested.

You can read more about these by visiting the below website:

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Solstice refrigerants are Honeywell’s brand name on new HFO refrigerants that it produces. At the moment there are only two mainstream producers of HFO refrigerants in the world. The first being Honeywell and the second being the Chemours Company. HFOs are a new class of refrigerants that are aimed to have a significantly lower Global Warming Potential than their HFC counterparts. (HFC examples include R-134a, R-410A, and R-404A.)

HFO refrigerants are the products of the future and we will be seeing more and more on Honeywell’s Solstice product line. So far in 2015 there are six Solstice refrigerants that Honeywell has developed. You can visit their website by clicking here.

 

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DR-55 refrigerant, or Opteon XL55, is a new HFO refrigerant designed by the Chemours Company.

This refrigerant is designed as a lower Global Warming Potential alternative to the popular HFC refrigerant R-410A. 410A systems can be easily converted to handle the new DR-55 and provides a nearly sixty percent reduction in Global Warming Potential. On top of the environmental savings it also provides a five percent efficiency boost to compared to 410A.

You can read more about it by visiting Chemour’s website (now Opteon)

Opteon-XL55-properties

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Opteon refrigerants are DuPont’s, or Chemour’s, brand name of their new HFO refrigerants. HFO refrigerants are designed as an alternative to the high global warming potential HFC refrigerants used today. At this point in time, in 2015, there are only two main manufacturers of HFO refrigerants in the world. The first being the Chemours Company and the other being Honeywell. HFO’s are designed to be environmentally friendly and look to be the refrigerant of the future.

We will be seeing more and more on Chemour’s new Opteon product line. Chemours is currently developing new HFO refrigerants that will be suitable alternatives to the common R-410A and R-404A applications. You can visit their website by clicking here.

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HFCs (1)

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In 2009 the Honeywell corporation invented a new refrigerant called Genetron Performax. (R-407F) This new refrigerant is an HFC blend containing forty percent of R-134a, thirty percent of R-125, and thirty percent of R-32. The thinking behind this refrigerant was to come up with a viable alternative to the currently used R-404A  in supermarkets and grocers across the world today.

R-404A has one of the highest Global Warming Potentials in all of the refrigerants on the market today standing at 3,922 GWP. (Source PDF from Linde-Gas.com) To give you some perspective the GWP of R-134a is only 1,430. Just by looking at the numbers here you can see why there is a large concern over the damage that 404A is causing to the environment.

This new refrigerant designed by Honeywell, R-407F, has a GWP of 1,824. That is over a fifty percent decrease in GWP. While the 1,824 is still very high for a refrigerant it is significantly better than what we had been using. Imagine if everyone converted over to this new refrigerant. The impact on the environment from supermarket freezers would be cut in half.

Along with having the lower GWP than 404A the R-407F is an A1 rated refrigerant. That means low toxicity and that it is non flammable. A few more benefits to this refrigerant are that it is an efficient R-22 retrofit option, lower discharge temperature than R-22, similar cooling capacity to R-404A, and has around a ten percent energy savings when comparing to existing 404A systems. (Source on these claims is from Linde-Gas.com)

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