What Is the Difference Between 1234YF and Other Refrigerants (R-134A and R-12)?

In the past few decades, there have been significant changes in automotive technology, including the refrigerants used in air conditioning (A/C) systems. The traditional refrigerant, R-12, was phased out due to its harmful environmental effects. Its replacement, R-134a, has been used for over two decades, but now a newer refrigerant, 1234YF, is being used in newer car models.

What Is The Difference Between New Refrigerants Versus Old Refrigerants?

  • Firstly, the primary difference is the environmental impact. Old refrigerants like R-12 and R-134a are known to contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. In contrast, 1234YF is classified as a has a much lower global warming potential.
  • Secondly, the performance of the refrigerants is different. R-12 and R-134a are known to be very efficient at cooling but are not as energy efficient as 1234YF. Therefore, cars with 1234YF systems can have better fuel efficiency and emit fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Thirdly, the cost of refrigerants also varies. R-134a is relatively inexpensive, while 1234YF is more expensive due to its newness to the market and the technology involved in its production.
  • Lastly, the equipment needed to provide 1234YF refrigerant service differs from the equipment used to service traditional refrigerants. Technicians must use specialized equipment to handle and recharge the 1234YF refrigerant. They are a novelty, meaning not all auto repair shops may have this equipment. Fortunately, Spectrum Car Care in Gilbert, AZ, recently invested in a new 1234YF machine to provide expert-level A/C service.

It is essential to ensure that the auto repair shop you bring your vehicle to is capable of servicing your vehicle's specific A/C system and refrigerant to maintain optimal performance and prevent damage to the system itself. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not refrain from looking in your car's owner's handbook. Furthermore, don't hesitate to get in touch with Spectrum Car Care for assistance with A/C services and repairs.


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