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)