The Three Types Of A/C Freon In Car & Their Characteristics

Automobile air conditioner freon can and test gauges under hood of car

Your car’s A/C system makes use of freon to function. Also known as refrigerant, you will need a recharge as and when you experience a leak. Without freon or with low levels within the system, you will not be able to experience the full benefits of your car’s A/C. This can mean a stuffy and uncomfortable cabin, something you want to avoid when it’s hot out! In this article, we share more with you about the three types of A/C freon you can choose from.

What Is Refrigerant?

The first and most important thing to understand is that freon is a type of refrigerant. Refrigerant works to keep your cabin cool by transforming hot air into cool air. This is possible due to its ability to change between liquid and gaseous states at different temperatures. Besides your car’s A/C system, refrigerant is also used in residential and commercial A/C systems.

When you experience a refrigerant leak, the only way to get your car’s A/C running again is to get a recharge. In addition, you will also need to seal or close off the source of the leak to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Three Types of A/C Freon Used in Cars

When you require a recharge, you will need to know which type of A/C freon is used in your car. There are only three available types, which are:

  • R12

If you are driving an older car, you just may be making use of the R12 freon. The chemical has been banned for use in newer models by the EPA, however, if your car is already making use of it, there are no restrictions around that. Although it’s relatively inexpensive, it is not environmentally friendly, having an adverse effect on the ozone layer.

  • R134a

This type of freon is popular because of its low flammability. It is an eco-friendlier alternative to R12 freon, however, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. One thing to remember is that refrigerant is a greenhouse gas, which has a detrimental impact on the ozone layer. Because the amount of freon used in each car’s A/C system can be kept to a minimum these days, that’s one way of reducing its negative impact.

  • R1234yf

R1234yf is often considered to be the best type of freon out of the three. Most new models of vehicles come with this type of freon in their A/C systems. Combining chemicals from both R12 and R134a freon, it is the best available option in the American market today.

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