R12 is Going Away! If You Have An Old System, It’s Time For a Replacement!

R12 is Going Away! If You Have An Old System, It’s Time For a Replacement!

The most common refrigerant fuel for Commercial HVAC systems in Texas, R12, is due for a complete phase out by 2021. As a result, now is the time for a Commercial HVAC Replacement in Addison TX.


R12 is the most used refrigerant in HVAC systems because of its versatility across different systems. Unfortunately, R12 has also been found to cause accelerated Ozone layer depletion. Therefore, 191 countries came together at the Montreal conference in 1985 and signed something called the Montreal Protocol, which called for the complete phase out of Ozone depleting materials. This includes R12.


There are two options for your current R12 HVAC system:


  1. Retrofit your current system to utilize a compatible refrigerant.
  2. Complete replacement of your HVAC system.

Retrofit your current system


There are three replacement refrigerant options for R12 systems: R134a, R401a, R401b. R134a is regarded, by manufacturers and adherents to the Montreal Protocols alike, as the best replacement refrigerant. R134a maintains much of the versatility as R12, but lacks Ozone depleting compounds and emits very little greenhouse gases.


R401a and R401b are great options for refrigerant systems such as walk-in coolers and beverage stands.


To retrofit your current R12 system with either of these refrigerants requires a simple process with a professional touch. First, the old refrigerant must be removed and disposed of according to strict guidelines set by the EPA. Next, the expansion valve, coil, and filter must be changed out accordingly. Third, the existing system must be properly lubricated for the new refrigerant. Then, finally, the system can be recharged with the new refrigerant.


The drawback to retrofitting an existing system, rather than full system replacement, is your current R12 system was not specifically designed for the replacement refrigerant. Therefore, the system will not run as efficiently as it had with the R12, though changes may be mild and unnoticed.


Replace the HVAC system altogether


Replacing your entire HVAC system may be a preferable option, especially if your current system is over ten years old. HVAC systems are like any other mechanical device such as a car engine, and wear out over time. Rather than retrofit for another refrigerant and potentially face the additional cost of full system replacement a few years later, a full replacement will save money in the long-term.




Now is the time to replace R12 systems. R12, though it has not been completely phased out yet, is becoming increasingly expensive to purchase. Blackall Mechanical, with over 12 years of service in Addison TX, is happy to help with your Commercial HVAC Replacement in Addison TX.

Contact us today!