Reader Question: AC Refrigerants?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Dallas asks: As a fellow Americano Cubano, in the future, distant or not-too, can our R12 A/C systems be repaired using R134a (if still available and not yet illegal) or R1234yf?  This is in the event where the R12 leaked or escaped or for other failures if the R12 won’t or can’t be recovered.  If not, what then?  Thanks!

My reply: Technically, it is still possible to repair R-12 systems using R-12. It is just very expensive. And a hassle, as you have to get a “certification” as an AC technician before you can even buy the stuff. But you can still get the stuff. Or get your technician to get it.

I expect the same will be the “case” with other refrigerants. They will be subjected to heavy taxes and access to them restricted. But they are likely to still be available, provided the country doesn’t go Full Soviet – which it well may.

For this reason, I recommend servicing your car’s AC system now. If you bring it up to top-notch condition (especially as regards any leaks) it should keep you cool for years to come. Hopefully long enough to make it through what may be coming.

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