Your car’s air conditioner doesn’t work by magic. It’s powered by a constant cycle of heating, cooling, and pressurizing. The key to that cycle? Refrigerant. Not all refrigerant is the same, however, and some are currently being phased out. Knowing which refrigerant to use in an auto air conditioner can help you settle on the right option for your car.
Increasingly, certain refrigerants are being banned or phased out. Due to environmental concerns, particular refrigerant compositions are no longer available. Unfortunately, that can affect car owners whose vehicles are of an older model. However, newer, less harmful refrigerant options are available, allowing your car’s A/C to run smoothly, no matter what refrigerant you used in the past.
Since 1987, the Miami car A/C mechanics at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning have stayed updated on changing refrigerant regulations. We aim to provide the safest, most effective refrigerant options to our Miami neighbors. For an A/C recharge or another service, call the Miami car A/C mechanics at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning today at (305) 909-6127.
Which Refrigerant is Commonly Used in Auto Air Conditioners?
Car refrigerants are the cooling agents of your auto air conditioner. Pressurized into gas and then reverted to liquids, refrigerants are constantly recycled through your auto air conditioner to regulate the temperature of your car. As technology and research advance, new refrigerants are being used, and older options are being phased out. Changing up your car’s refrigerant can help you become eco-conscious and can protect your health.
Once a commonly used refrigerant, R-134A is in the process of being phased out. Due to ecological concerns, R-134A will soon become unavailable. R-134A, also known as HFC-134, has the potential to harm the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because of this, R-134A will stop being produced in the coming years. While you can still use R-134A as a refrigerant for your auto air conditioner as of now, soon, you won’t be able to.
Another previously common refrigerant, R-12 Freon, is now banned. Because of its impact on the Ozone layer, R-12 is no longer a widely available refrigerant for your auto air conditioner. As more refrigerants are being banned or phased out based on their environmental impact, car owners might be unsure which previously allowed refrigerants are no longer accessible.
There are, of course, alternatives to the refrigerants mentioned above. As we learn more about how these cooling agents interact with our health and the environment, the EPA continues to update its list of approved refrigerants for passenger cars. Understandably, all this change might be confusing for car owners. What’s the difference between approved refrigerant R-401C and non-approved refrigerant R-12? The Miami car A/C mechanics at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning can help find the refrigerant compatible with your car, even if your previous refrigerant is no longer available. Experienced mechanics know that as research advances, so do our cars. Staying up to date on changed refrigerants helps keep your car safe for your family.
Why Is Refrigerant Used in Auto Air Conditioners?
In most cars, refrigerant is an important aspect of the air conditioning system. Refrigerant goes through a cycle, during which it is condensed and compressed repeatedly. It changes from gas to liquid and back to gas again to cool your car. Although potentially dangerous in its gaseous form, refrigerant is how most auto air conditioners are able to create cool air.
The cycle looks a little something like this: Your car’s condenser will, unsurprisingly, condense the gaseous refrigerant into a high-pressure liquid. From there, the liquid refrigerant moves to the expansion valve, where pressure is reduced. Next, the cooled liquid reaches the evaporator. At this point, chilled air is blown out into your car’s cabin, and warm air is drawn in. The refrigerant, now a gas once more, then travels to the compressor to become pressurized further. This cycle constantly repeats when the A/C is on in your car.
Without refrigerant, the cycle of condensing and compressing would not be possible. The use of refrigerant is necessary. However, it can pose health risks if a leak occurs. When in its gaseous state, refrigerant can be dangerous. Because it’s odorless and colorless, it can be difficult to spot a refrigerant leak. If your A/C becomes weak and blows hot air, consider reaching out to an experienced mechanic, like the ones at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning. Not only can a leak decrease available refrigerant, causing your car’s A/C to stop working, but it can be harmful to your health.
How Can I Check Which Refrigerant is Used in My Auto Air Conditioner?
Are you concerned that the refrigerant in your auto air conditioner is out of date? Do you want to know which kind you’re currently using? Checking which refrigerant is used in your auto air conditioner is as simple as lifting the hood of your car.
There should be a sticker on your A/C unit that names the type of refrigerant used during your last A/C recharge. This process is one performed by the Miami car A/C mechanics at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning. It’s a quick, simple service that refills your car’s refrigerant levels in case of a leak or lack of supply. Afterward, a sticker is placed on your unit to indicate the refrigerant used.
If the refrigerant in your car is now banned, you can find a new option. Just take your vehicle to your auto body shop and explain that you’d like a new, approved refrigerant. Currently, HFC-134 (R-134A) is still available and will be until 2025. As innovation increases, newer cars can utilize different cooling methods, slowly phasing out the need for refrigerant altogether.
Call Our Miami Mechanics for an A/C Recharge
Every now and then, you need to refill your car’s refrigerant levels. For an A/C recharge, or to try a different refrigerant, call the Miami car A/C recharge mechanics at AAA Radiator and Auto Air Conditioning today at (305) 909-6127.