What is HFO-1234yf?

HFO-1234yf is a new class of refrigerants known as hydrofluoroolefins. These refrigerants are similar to HFC refrigerants except that they have a much much lower Global Warming Potential number. This is done by creating a double carbon bond within HFO refrigerants. This double bond is easily decomposable in the environment if the refrigerant is leaked or vented. 1234yf is the first of these classes of refrigerants and will be used in automotive applications to replace R-134a.

What is the difference between R-1234yf and HFO-1234yf?

1234yf is sold in cylinders as HFO-1234yf, or cans as R-1234yf. Chemically they are identical.

Do I need to be certified to purchase 1234yf refrigerant?

Yes, as of January 1st, 2018 you will need to be 609 certified with the EPA in order to purchase 1234yf refrigerant. The only exception is buying for wholesale or when purchasing containers that contain less than two pounds of refrigerant. This new rule applies to R-134a cylinders as well.

For R-22, R-410a, R-404a, MO99, R-422D, and other HVAC refrigerants you must have a 608 license.

Can I buy R-1234yf 8oz cans without being EPA certified?

Yes. The 609 certification or license is not needed when purchasing containers that contain less than two pounds of refrigerant.

How can I find out what kind of refrigerant my home air conditioner contains?

The refrigerant used in your home air conditioner is typically listed on the unit’s nameplate. For central air conditioners, the nameplate is usually on the outdoor condenser. If there is no nameplate, check your owner’s manual or contact the person or company that sold or services your air conditioner. If you know the manufacturer and model number, you could also call the manufacturer or check its website.

What Is R-22?

R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), a type of colorless gas that can be used as a propellant and refrigerant.

Used in all types of cooling systems including residential and vehicle air conditioning systems, R22 essentially removes heat from a space that’s been sucked into a heat pump, allowing cooled air to escape.

Why is R22 being phased out?

While many types of chemicals impact the health of our ozone layer, HCFCs are known to be especially destructive. Research has revealed that R22 is not only one of the worst depletors of the ozone layer, but it is also a greenhouse gas more than 1,800 times more powerful than carbon in warming the planet.

The United States Clean Air Act and the international Montreal Protocol have put forth guidelines to end production of R22, only allowing it in limited amounts to be reclaimed from the air.

Since 2012, the price of R22 has risen by well over 300 percent, meaning it’s becoming prohibitively expensive for air conditioning services—and eventually consumers—to replace in air conditioning units.

Can I still buy R-22 after 2019?

This is a common question and some use the phase-out improperly to convince people to get a new system. Yes, you can still buy it for years to come! It will no longer be manufactured but there is plenty in inventory. Supply will diminish over time and the prices will likely rise. We suggest buying while the price remains low.