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What’s the difference between R134a and R134?
Lots of folks use the terms “R134” and “R134a” interchangeably but they are 2 different products. While very similar at the atomic level, R134 meets the specifications of a refrigerant yet is less efficient at moving heat in an air conditioning system. R134a refrigerant is the correct term to describe the refrigerant product to use in a auto A/C system if your car uses that type.
Is R134a (Not R134) Safe to Use or Dangerous?
These are the dangers that you have to look out for when topping off the R134a refrigerant in your auto A/C:
Inhalation of R134a -The danger from inhaling R134a while working on topping off your auto A/C are mostly dependent upon how much you breath in. Generally, if your total exposure to the gas is from topping off your auto A/C once a year then you don’t have much to worry about. The more exposure and the greater the quantity you are exposed to are what you must be careful of. Auto mechanics that can have multiple, daily exposure have to take precautions to avoid inhalation that can cause symptoms including temporary depression of the nervous system, drowsiness and reduced pain sensitivity. Prolonged vapor exposure can cause heart irregularities, loss of consciousness and death.
Freeze Burns – If your skin comes into accidental contact with the liquid form of R134a you could possibly get a freeze burn in that spot. You should then place the affected are of skin in warm water and exercise or massage the area until normal skin temperature resumes. If you splash some in your eye, fragile eye tissues can be damaged. The recommended course of action if you get liquid R134a in your eye is to immediately flush with large quantities of room temperature water or saline solution and seek medical attention.