What is the Difference Between R1234yf and R744 Air Conditioning?

Which type of air conditioning do you need? R1234YF or R744? Do you know the difference? Read on to learn more about the two common types of air conditioning, the differences, the benefits and disadvantages as well as which type is best for you.

There are two main types of air conditioning used in modern automobiles, R744 and R1234YF. R744 is the newer refrigerant that has been designed to replace R1234YF in automobile air conditioners. It is said to be more environmentally friendly, but there is some controversy over its safety.

What is R1234YF Air Conditioning?

R1234YF was originally planned to be used in 2011, however, the start was delayed for 2 years because the supplies of this refrigerant were so restricted. It is a type of refrigerant that uses Hydroflouroolefin (HFO). HFO refrigerants are composed of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon atoms, but contain at least one double bond between the carbon atoms. Due to its composition, R1234YF refrigerant does not damage the ozone layer and has minimal global warming impacts.

R1234YF was invented to replace the older standard, R134a when the government passed legislation requiring R134a to be phased out by 2021. R1234YF and R134a are very similar, and the main difference between the two is that the newer R1234YF is mildly flammable and requires special handling and qualifications.

R1234YF Characteristics

  • Low toxicity
  • Zero ozone-depleting potential
  • Class A2L Refrigerant (mildly flammable)
  • Same operating pressures as R134a systems

What is R744 Air Conditioning?

R744 is a new refrigerant that is designed to be more environmentally friendly than all previous types of refrigerant. It does not contain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are believed to contribute to climate change. Additionally, R744 is non-flammable due to it being fully carbon dioxide, which is why manufacturers are starting to choose R744 over the flammable R1234YF.

One of the disadvantages of R744 is that it requires very different A/C equipment which is more expensive, due to the R744 refrigerant needing to run at 1400PSI to operate efficiently. This also causes safety concerns as any gas under high pressure can cause problems in the event of an accident. Due to the complexity and high pressures involved, there are very few places that can maintain these systems. In fact, there are very few dealers that even have the equipment to be able to do so, fortunately, BonAir are equipped and trained to maintain these systems for you.

R744 Characteristics

  • Non-flammable
  • Extremely high operating pressures
  • R744 can exist in all states (solid, liquid and gas)


So, what’s the best air conditioning system for you? If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option that doesn’t come with the same safety concerns as R1234YF, then R744 is the better choice. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option, then R1234YF might be a better choice for you. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences as well as the age of your vehicle. Depending on the year your vehicle was made, it may only support one or two types of air conditioning and would need to be converted if you chose to upgrade (or downgrade) your air conditioning system.


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