This is a question that gets asked a lot all over the country especially in the summer months. Air conditioners breaking is a fact of life. Nothing last forever and your AC will eventually break or have a leak. When that does happen you or your contractor will need to refill your machine. The price of refrigerant has always been somewhat kind of a mystery. No one knows what to expect on a refrigerant fill up and half the time they don’t even know what kind of refrigerant they need. Remember, that just like sodas with their Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, and Coca-Cola there are all different kinds of refrigerants out there. Unlike sodas though refrigerants all have their own distinct purpose and your air conditioner is only orientated towards one of those refrigerants. If you pick the wrong refrigerant you could permanently damage your machine and end up costing yourself thousands in repairs.
In this article I am going to give you a look at the most popular refrigerants on the market today, a guess as to what kind of refrigerant you will need, and a link to my price per pound articles on those refrigerants.
So, What Kind of Refrigerant Do I Need?
As I said before there are hundreds of different refrigerants out there. This can be overwhelming and confusing to a lot of people. The good news is that for the majority of applications there are only a select few refrigerants that are widely used across the United States. This section below is going to go over these most common refrigerants as well as give you a pricing guide.
Let’s take a 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 before R-22 was phased out in 2010 for new units. R-410A has been around since 2010 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.
Alright, so I hope that I was able to clarify as to what kind of refrigerant you need. The number one point that I have to make to you though is to be SURE that you are purchasing or using the right refrigerant. The points I mentioned above are guidelines. Always check your unit or call your manufacturer to ensure that you are making the right decision. This is never something that you want to guess at.
I hope that I was able to help you with your question and thanks for reading,