Types of refrigerants
A refrigerant is a substance, in form of gas or liquid, used to cool a certain area in a refrigeration process. There are numerous types of refrigerants out there. Refrigerants use a thermodynamic process to convert from liquid to gas and liquid again. Despite the usefulness, some refrigerants deplete the ozone layer and affect the environment adversely.
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Types of Refrigerants
These refrigerants contain fluorine, chlorine and carbon. They were banned in the 80 as they were found to be hazardous to the environment.
Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
HCFCs contain fluorine, chlorine, hydrogen and carbon. They are competent, nontoxic and not harmful to the environment. However, they contribute to ozone depletion though slowly.
These refrigerants do not contain chlorine. HFCs refrigerants do not diminish the ozone layer. However, they have a potent impact on the ozone layer. HFCs include hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. Due to its environmental suitability, it is popular among manufacturers. In fact, R134a, which is the most popular refrigerants for car air conditioning system belong to this category.
These refrigerants, as the name suggests, are not human-made. Better still they are relatively cheap. Some examples of natural refrigerants include ammonia, CO2 and water. They do not affect the ozone layer and global warming. Purchasing some of these refrigerants will need you to have an EPA certificate.
Automobile’s A/C refrigerant
The most used refrigerant for auto Air conditioning is R-12 (CFC-12) popularly known by brand name as Freon. This Chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant was used for 1995 and below models. R-12 is no longer used vehicles AC refrigerant as it poses environmental hazards such as global warming.
Newer automobile models use R-134a. It is a fluorocarbon refrigerant and an ideal replacement for R-12. Currently, R-134a is among the few approved refrigerants for vehicles AC refrigerants. However, it is set to face the same fate as R-12 as it is gradually being phased out.
Although some experts claim that it does not affect the ozone layer some countries especially in Europe are still not convinced it is safet. However, it is still available in the US and can be purchased in most auto shops.
According to EU guidelines R1234y is the new alternative for automobile air conditioning systems. In fact, R-134a refrigerant was prohibited some few years back. Similarly, EPA rules say vehicle manufacturers must desist from using R-134a in a new vehicle for the North American market. After 2025 the refrigerant will be discontinued in new vehicles.
If you need your vehicles, AC refrigerant replaced or have issues with refrigerant you should contact a qualified technician.
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