As R-12 continues to disappear, the expense of R-12 refrigerant continues to rise. So what do you recharge an older air conditioning system with if R-12 is unavailable?


Though a number of choice refrigerants are marketed as “drop-in” replacements for R-12, there may be actually no such thing like a accurate drop-in replacement. The reason why is because Federal law prohibits the topping off A/C programs with ANY refrigerant that is chemically unique from what is previously in the system, unless of course every one of the old refrigerant is very first eliminated so the system may be converted towards the substitute refrigerant.

You will discover, nevertheless, several option refrigerants that can be made use of in older automobiles with R-12 A/C systems, and most have been reviewed and approved by the EPA for retrofitting older R-12 A/C programs. Accepted refrigerants ought to meet the EPA’s SNAP (Considerable New Options Policy) criteria for environmental acceptability and use.

NOTE: The SNAP rules prohibit the usage of flammable refrigerants (propane, butane and related hydrocarbons) in mobile A/C techniques as a result of their hazardous nature, along with the SNAP principles prohibit using any other refrigerants that have ozone-damaging CFCs. for far more info about flammable refrigerants.

THE Authorized Substitute REFRIGERANTS

You’ll find amount of option refrigerants from which to select. One is R-134a, that’s the ONLY alternate refrigerant at the moment approved by all car suppliers for retrofitting older R-12 A/C programs. The automobile manufacturers say R-134a will great reasonably well in many R-12 A/C techniques presented the proper retrofit procedures are followed. They also recommend R-134a due to the fact this is a single part refrigerant, not like the majority of the choices that happen to be truly BLENDS of two to a lot more ingredients.

The motor vehicle companies will not like blends due to the fact blends can undergo “fractionation.” This really is once the individual ingredients inside a mix separate for different motives. Fractionation can be induced by chemical distinctions among the refrigerants (lighter and heavier elements will not choose to stay mixed), distinctive charges of leakage via seals and hoses (smaller molecules leak at a higher rate than greater ones), and diverse prices of absorption by the compressor oil and desiccant. Fractionation is often a concern due to the fact it may possibly alter the total composition of your blend the moment it is actually in use, which can have an effect on the efficiency traits in the refrigerant. Fractionation also can make it complicated to recycle a blended refrigerant mainly because what comes from the system is probably not the exact same mix that went in to the system.

For those who want to read a number of different views about the topic of choice refrigerants and retrofits.

The vehicle manufacturers also say limiting the options to one decision (R-134a) simplifies issues, lowers the potential risk of cross-contamination and eliminates the will need for many recovery machines. EPA principles involve a separate dedicated recovery only or recovery/recycling machine for each style of refrigerant serviced.


Choice refrigerants which have been discovered acceptable for automotive applications or are at this time getting reviewed by the EPA consist of the next blends:

No cost Zone (RB-276). Provided by Refrigerant Gases, this mix has 79% R-134a, 19% HCFC-142b and 2% lubricant.

Freeze 12. Provided by Technical Chemical, this mix has 80% R-134a and 20% HCFC-142b.

FRIGC (FR-12). Manufactured by Intermagnetics Common and marketed by Pennzoil, this mix consists of 59% R-134a, 39% HCFC-124 and 2% butane.

GHG-X4 (Autofrost & McCool Chill-It). This mix is supplied by Peoples Welding Supply and contains 51% R-22, 28.5% HCFC-124, 16.5% HCFC-142b and 4% isobutane (R-600a).

GHG-HP. Also provided by Peoples Welding Supply, this blend includes 65% R-22, 31% HCFC-142b and 4% isobutane (R-600a).

Hot ShotKar Kool. Supplied by ICOR, this blend contains 50% R-22, 39% HCFC-124, 9.5% HCFC-142b and 1.5% isobutane (R-600a).

The suppliers of the alternate blends say their products typically great better than straight R-134a in techniques designed for R-12, and do not involve changing the compressor oil or desiccant in some cases. Changing the desiccant to XH-7 is usually recommended if an R-12 system is converted to R-134a. The desiccant should also be replaced if a mix has R-22 for the reason that R-22 is not compatible with XH-5 or XH-7 desiccant. The recommended desiccant in this case would be XH-9.

The suppliers on the alternative blends also insist the fractionation problem is exaggerated and usually do not foresee any major problems with recovering and recycling their products (recycling blends is now illegal, but the EPA is reviewing its feasibility).

One supplier of these products say they sold several million pounds of their choice refrigerant, so the public is accepting it.