What is R-1234YF Refrigerent and why are we changing to it from R-134A?
R-1234YF was introduced to meet new regulations in the USA and Europe designed to curb the use of R-134A and other Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. R-1234YF is a Hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant that has significantly less environmental impact than R-134A. which is an extremely potent greenhouse gas that takes 13 years to break down in the atmosphere and depletes the ozone.
R-1234YF is a greenhouse gas roughly equivalent to carbon dioxide that takes 11 days to break down in the atmosphere and has no ozone depleting properties.
For more information about the life cycle, chemical composition and comparison of the refrigerants check these external links. We are not affiliated with www.chemours.com in any way.
R-1234YF has similar properties and working pressures as R-134A, which makes it possible to retrofit R-134A equipped vehicles with R-1234YF systems with minor modifications. However, R-1234YF introduces many new aspects to the automotive HVAC system, including electronic controlled variable displacement compressors, micro-channel sub-cooled condensers or Inline Heat Exchangers, small PAG oil charges and more. Subcooling uses an Inline Heat Exchange or modified condenser to utilize the still cool vapor on the way back to the compressor from the evaporator to "Subcool" the refrigerant 15+ degrees below what the condenser can achieve alone.
Servicing R-1234YF systems will require shops to invest in new A/C machines as your existing R-134A machine will not work with the new refrigerant. The new machines have improved seals meant to handle R-1234YF along with integrated leak detection which will not allow you to fill a leaking system. This helps reduce waste which will become more important than ever with R-1234YF which can cost over 39 times as much as R-134A.
The new refrigerant and PAG oils are much harder on the seals of the system, which required new seals to be designed that could withstand it. It is important to use seals, valves and caps designed for R-1234YF systems, using valves from R-134A systems will cause leaks to develop in the system. All of the new valves are backwards compatible, meaning you can use the new R-1234YF valves and seals in R-134A and R-12 systems without issue.
Service Caps are an integral part of R-1234YF systems, serving as a primary seal. In cold climates R-1234YF can be forced from gas to liquid state while the system is off, causing the internal pressure to drop and atmospheric pressure can open the schrader valves if the caps are not in place. It is important to use caps designed for 1234YF systems as they have a larger sealing surface and a different type of seal.
We now offer a full line of R-1234YF compatible Caps & Valves! Some of the valves have the same color seal as before, though they are made of a new material, so it is important to keep them separated and ensure they do not become mixed with R-134A valves.