What Are The Types Of RV Air Conditioner Refrigerant?Elijah White
RV air conditioners don't often need to be recharged with fresh refrigerants, but when they do you'll need to find the kind that works for your AC unit. .
Especially with older RV units, finding the right kind of Freon refrigerant may be confusing. Different names have been used for the same chemical blends in different decades and a lot of types are banned now because of their negative effects on the environment.
There are many types of refrigerant for RV air conditioners. Many of them are no longer manufactured because of the damage they cause to the environment, but even modern types of freon vary. R-410A and R-407C are the most common and most likely to be compatible with any modern unit.
Although the list of every refrigerant is huge, the amount that were the same chemical blends as well. Different brands would package the same freon in different ways. Many refrigerans were banned over the last ten years as we learned how they negatively affected the environment, and the list of freon refrigerants that are still in use is quite small now. Below I will go over both modern and banned refrigerants.
RV air conditioners work more like a house AC than a car’s, but still function differently than both. It takes knowledge of the specific model of air conditioner to shop accurately, but below I have gone over the most common types of refrigerants.
What Are The Types of RV Air Conditioner Refrigerants?
Is your RV air conditioner running out of refrigerant? If so, it’s important to understand how an RV air conditioner uses refrigerant and what happens when you don’t have enough of it. Most people think that their RVs run on Freon, like most home appliances, but this isn’t actually the case.
The best type of RV air conditioner refrigerant is different from most homes because it has to be able to withstand the heat inside your vehicle. While there are some similarities between home appliances and RVs when it comes to cooling systems, there are also a few key differences that you should keep in mind if yours ever starts leaking or running out!
The Purpose of Refrigerant in an Air Conditioner
The purpose of refrigerant in an air conditioner is to control the temperature. Refrigerant is a gas that's used to cool the air, and it's found in all types of air conditioners. It can be either R-134a or R-22, depending on what type of appliance you have.
The refrigerant is pumped through the system and comes into contact with a compressor. The compressor pumps the gas at high pressure, which cools it down. Then, air passes through the vents in your home or business and is cooled by this process.
What Happens When Your Air Conditioner Runs Out Of Refrigerant?
If you run out of refrigerant, your air conditioner will not work. Air conditioners need refrigerants to operate. Refrigerant is a gas that is used to help cool the air in your RV. It's also called Freon.
This type of refrigerant can be found at most automotive parts stores or home improvement centers such as Lowe's or Home Depot. You'll need an adaptor tube and hose attachment kit if you want to refill your own RV unit instead of hiring someone with specialized experience (and tools) to do it for you.
If you have a leak in your air conditioner, it's important to find and repair the leak as soon as possible. The longer it goes unchecked, the more damage will be done to your RV's system. If you have a leak and the compressor is working properly, it will cool the air conditioner. If you have no leaks and your AC still doesn't work, then there could be something wrong with your thermostat or wiring.
Types of RV Air Conditioner Refrigerant
There are three types of RV air conditioner refrigerants: R134a is the most common, but you can also use R12 and R22.
- R134a is the most common RV air conditioner refrigerant in North America, so it's a good choice if you want to go out and buy a new system. It's also better for the environment than older alternatives because it's non-ozone depleting and has low global warming potential (GWP).
- R12 is an older version of this chemical that was used in passenger cars until 1993. It's still available as an option for RV owners who have an existing system that doesn't support newer models or those who want to save money by installing their own equipment at home instead of hiring someone else to do it for them.
- Some people also like R12 because it doesn't have as strong of an odor as some other types of refrigerant, which can be helpful if you're trying to keep your car smelling nice inside.
R22 is another older form of this chemical that was used in cars before 1993. It's still available as an option for RV owners who have an existing system that doesn't support newer models or those who want to save money by installing their own equipment at home instead of hiring someone else to do it for them. Many older refrigerants are not produced anymore because of emissions regulations.
R12 and R22 are both ozone-depleting chemicals, which means that they can cause damage to the ozone layer when released into the atmosphere. They also have a high global warming potential (GWP), which is how much heat is released as a result of their use over time.
This is why many newer vehicles don't use these types of refrigerants anymore. There are also concerns about how safe R12 and R22 are to use inside an automobile, especially when they're mixed with other gasses such as oxygen and nitrogen.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating the use of these chemicals and other refrigerants. They recommend that you never mix R12 or R22 with any other gasses.
RV HVAC Refrigerant Explained
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the process of heating and cooling a building, whether it be residential or commercial. A common method of air conditioning used in RVs is called refrigeration cycle. This type of air conditioner works by removing heat from inside your RV using refrigerant (a substance that causes a change in temperature).
The Best Type of RV Air Conditioner Refrigerant For You
So what's the best type of RV air conditioner refrigerant for you? There are many factors to consider when choosing a new unit, but these will help determine whether R-134a is the right fit.
- Is it an older model? If you have an older model vehicle, like a 1966 Airstream or a 1978 Winnebago, chances are that your system runs on R-12 or R-22. It may be difficult to find someone who can service this kind of equipment; if you need repairs or repairs, it’s best to consult a professional before purchasing anything else.
- Are you looking for efficiency? When shopping around for new units (whether they're new-builds or replacements), look for units that use “low GWP” refrigerants such as R-410A and R-407C. These low-global warming potential gasses produce less carbon dioxide per kilogram than other types - making them not only environmentally friendly but also more efficient in terms of energy savings over time.
Are you looking for longevity? If you want to get the most out of your RV air conditioner and prevent premature breakdowns, look for units that use R-134a. This is a highly stable refrigerant that won’t break down or lose its cooling capacity over time—so while other systems may need repairs after one year, yours will last much longer!
Are you looking for efficiency? When shopping around for new units (whether they're new-builds or replacements), look for units that use “low GWP” refrigerants such as R-410A and R-407C. These low-global warming potential gasses produce less carbon dioxide per kilogram than other types - making them not only environmentally friendly but also more efficient in terms of energy savings over time.
Will The Wrong Kind of Refrigerant Damage an RV Air Conditioner?
The wrong type of refrigerant can cause damage to your RV air conditioner. In fact, there are several ways in which it could potentially damage your AC system. Some of these include:
- Damage to the compressor. If you have a leaky seal on your compressor, using the wrong kind of refrigerant could cause additional leaks and damage that might make it costly to repair or replace than if you had just used the right kind in the first place.
- Damage to other parts of your vehicle that use similar systems like air conditioning units and compressors (trucks, tankers, buses). When one part malfunctions due to using wrong refrigeration types then this may affect other parts as well which will require additional repairs or replacement costs; therefore using the proper product is important since it will save money in both short-term and long-term repairs/replacements costs!
Dangers and Safety Warnings about RV Air Conditioner Refrigerant
Using the wrong refrigerant can be dangerous or even fatal.
- If you use the wrong type of refrigerant, it could cause damage to your air conditioner or make the system unsafe to operate. It’s important that you know the difference between R-12 and R-134a before you buy any equipment, and always check with your local dealer before making any changes.
- If there isn’t enough refrigerant in your system, you won’t be able to cool off properly when it gets hot outside. This can lead to overheating issues for both your RV and its occupants—which could result in an accident if left unattended for too long (or worse).
- Having too much refrigerant is also a problem because it will affect how well your air conditioning unit works overall; this might seem like an insignificant detail now but could become very important later on down the road!
Refrigerants that can no longer be used in RV air conditioners.
- CFC-11, which was banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1996.
- HCFC-22, which was banned by the Montreal Protocol in 2004.
- HCFC-123 (R-22), which is still being produced but cannot be used for new installations or retrofits on existing equipment and replaced with non-ozone depleting alternatives by 2020. It will still be available for servicing existing systems until 2025.
Why is CFC-11 Banned?
CFC-11 is a chlorofluorocarbon. It belongs to the chemical family of Freon 11, also known as CFC-11. This refrigerant was banned because it depletes the ozone layer by increasing atmospheric UV rays.
CFC-11 is easily confused with HCFC-11, which can still be used in RV air conditioners today.
Why is HCFC-22 Banned?
HCFC-22 is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) used as a refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators. It was banned by the Montreal Protocol under the UN Environmental Program in 2010 due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer.
HCFC-123 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon that has been used as a refrigerant in air conditioning units. It was banned in the United States in 1996, but it is still being used in other countries.
HCFC-123 causes ozone depletion and global warming, and its use will eventually be phased out completely by 2030 under the Montreal Protocol and Bali Amendment agreements.
CFC-12a was one of the most common types of refrigerant used in RVs. It is still found in older air conditioners, as well as some heat pumps. The chemical is banned because it depletes the ozone layer and contributes to climate change. CFC-12a has been replaced with HCFC-22 (when not banned), which does not deplete the ozone layer but does contribute to global warming.
About THE AUTHOR
My wife and I bought a broken down 1984 Chevy A-Class 26ft RV and restored it back to working order. Now we both work remotely and live in it full time with our pet cats with the freedom to explore.Read More About Elijah White