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How to Tell If Your Refrigerator Needs More Freon

contents of a refrigerator

I found that recently my refrigerator wasn’t cooling quite as effectively as it once did, to which I did some research to find that refrigerators need something called Freon to stay cool. But, how do I tell if my refrigerator needs more Freon?

Afterall, if your refrigerator isn’t keeping the contents cool, it’s pretty useless; so I did a little research. To tell if your refrigerator needs more Freon, simply unplug the refrigerator, turn off the temperature control and place your ear on the side of the unit. A hissing or gurgling sound indicates that Freon is present. However if you hear nothing it’s likely that your fridge may be low on Freon.

This can cause your fridge not to function in the way it’s intended. So, let’s look into what this means and what you need to do to fix it.


What is Refrigerator Freon?

Refrigerator Freon is the name for the cooling liquid refrigerant that is used in the heating and cooling process of refrigerators, as well as a number of other household appliances. 

Freon flows through the coils on the inside and outside of your fridge, known as the evaporator and condenser coils.

What Type of Freon is used in Refrigerators?

Refrigerators manufactured after 1995 typically use a freon called: R-134a. However, be aware that combining non compatible refrigerants such as R-12 and R134a will lead to damage of the compressor. Therefore, please check the label before attempting to mix refrigerators. 

Both refrigerators and automobiles use R-134a as a refrigerant, and up until January 1st 2020 it was readily available to buy at most automotive stores. However, it’s since been banned for purchase as it was deemed harmful to the environment by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Do Refrigerators Still Use Freon?

You’ll commonly find that most modern refrigerators now use a refrigerant known as HFC-134a, as opposed to Freon, which has deemed to be much more environmentally friendly.

Does My Refrigerator Use Freon?

Due to its detrimental impact on the environment, modern refrigerators which are manufactured after 1994 aren’t likely to use Freon. Thus, newer refrigerants are being used in place of Freon which have a smaller effect on the environment, such as R-600a or HFC-134a.

Which Type of Refrigerant is my Refrigerator Using?

Before attempting to add additional refrigerant to your fridge, you’ll firstly need to check which type of refrigerant your refrigerator uses. As adding the wrong type of refrigerant could cause permanent damage to your refrigerator. 

To find out exactly which type of refrigerant your fridge is using, check the operating instructions which can normally be found on a sticker, on the back of your fridge or compressor.

Alternatively, this information can be found within the user manual.

The type of Freon is likely to read ‘R-’ followed by either two or three numbers.

How Long Does Freon Gas Last in a Refrigerator?

The Freon gas flows through a concealed system and therefore unless the coils on your refrigerator are compromised, causing a leak, Freon should practically last forever.

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