Refrigerant is one of those things that no one really thinks about. People go throughout their days and it never crosses their minds. Why should it? It is one of those ‘hidden industries’ that no one really knows about. It is an inside club that only those within the industry are aware of. Regular people only become interested in the topic when it affects them. It’s human nature. The problem with refrigerants though is that it is such an ambiguous topic and there just isn’t that much content out there to read on it. So, when a homeowner is faced with a hefty repair bill how do they know they are being treated fairly? Or, if your vehicle’s air conditioning has quit working and you take it to the dealership how do you know you are receiving a market price for your refrigerant?
In this article we are going to provide you with links to our various price per pound articles for 2020. These are various articles here and that leads me to my first point. You may be under the misconception that there is only one kind of refrigerant. In fact there are hundreds of different refrigerants out there. If you look at this list from Wikipedia then you can see exactly what I am talking about. While that list may seem a little overwhelming, I do have some good news.
Out of that large list of refrigerants there are only a select few that are widely used in today’s world. A good portion of the refrigerants in that listing have been phased out over the years for a variety of reasons. They could have been toxic, flammable, Ozone damaging, or global warming damaging. When it comes to repairing an appliance or vehicle in 2020 the number of refrigerants that your appliance could take are significantly lessened.
What Kind of Refrigerant Do I Need?
As I was saying above, there are a select few refrigerants that your appliance are using in 2020. In fact, there are five main refrigerants that you are going run into over and over again. They are your HCFC R-22, HFC R-410A, HFC R-404A, HFC R-134a, and the HFO R-1234yf. This definitely makes it easier to identify what refrigerant you need. But, in an effort to make it even simpler let’s take a deeper look:
- Automotive Application – Nowadays nearly every vehicle is using R-134a refrigerant for their vehicles. In recent years a new refrigerant known as HFO-1234yf is being used on newer models. If you car is a few years old or brand new then you will need to check if it takes 1234yf or not. Otherwise you are fairly safe to assume that your car is taking R-134a. For those of you who are into restoring classic cars you’ll find that you may end up needing R-12 Freon.
- Home or Commercial Air Conditioner – These ones can be a little tricky. Depending on when you got your unit you most likely either have an R-22 unit or a R-410A unit. As I said in previous articles, R-22 was phased out in 2010 for new air conditioners. R-410A has been around since 2000, but it’s popularity didn’t really take off until the 2010 deadline hit for R-22. When it comes to cost though you better hope you have a R-410A unit rather than R-22. The difference in price between the two refrigerants is astonishing.
- Refrigerators and Freezers (Home and Commercial) – The go to refrigerant for these applications has been R-404A. There are some other alternatives out there such as CO2 (R-744), R-502, and some other new HFO refrigerants coming out soon but today if you were having to recharge one of these you are most likely going to run into 404A.
So after reading the above section you should have a very good idea on what kind of refrigerant that your appliance or vehicle takes. That being said, never guess as to what kind of refrigerant your system needs. That my friends is a recipe for disaster. You cannot mix refrigerants with other refrigerants. If you do so you will permanently damage your system. Think of it like putting diesel into a gas vehicle. You shouldn’t do it. You have to know what refrigerant your system takes before anything else can be done.
In recent years there have been pushes to phase out some of these refrigerants. In fact, R-22 is going away entirely on January 1st, 2020. Other refrigerants such as the HFC classifications may end up being phased out fairly soon. If you happen to see a refrigerant that your appliance is using and that it is NOT in this list please reach out to me and I will do some research and get it added to this listing.