Is freon harmful from the refrigerator to humans?

  • Freon Types
  • What are the signs of freon leakage?
  • Conclusion

Each house has a useful household unit, called a refrigerator, which stores our products for a long time. Alas, like any device, it can break, but in this article we will talk about the leakage of "refrigerant", the gas with which the cooling of both chambers of the refrigerator takes place, and see if freon in the refrigerator is dangerous or not, and consider its harmfulness to humans.

As mentioned above, the failure of the refrigerator can be accompanied by its depressurization and gas leakage from the chamber. Therefore, do not in any way try to clean the ice from the walls of the unit with sharp objects, as this may end badly for you. From here people also have a question "whether freon is dangerous from a refrigerator?"

Freon Types

To date, refrigeration systems use different types of freon, below we look at each of them separately:

  1. Mark R 600
    a or “isobutane” - the most common way to use a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, a diagram, etc. It is a mixture of natural gases, so it does not destroy the atmospheric ozone layer. However, it has a rather high degree of explosiveness in contact with air. At high concentration in the room, the mixture may ignite. As for the danger to humans, it can harm only in high concentrations - at the lower threshold of explosive danger, and this is 31 grams of substance per cubic meter of air. By standards, the most common kitchen is 15 cubic meters, thus, to create such an environment you need 400 grams of this substance, but this will require a completely sealed room in which it can not evaporate anywhere. That and in the refrigerator isobutane no more than 150 grams.
  2. Brand R 134 a or “tetrafluoroethane” is also a no less common type of freon, like the above-described refrigerant. It is the first product derived without the use of chlorine. It is a gas, absolute colorless. It differs from its predecessor in that it is non-toxic and non-explosive. Completely safe for humans in any environment and at all temperatures.
  3. Brand R 12 or “difluorodichloromethane” - mainly found in old-style refrigerators, so you will not find it in modern units. It is a colorless substance in the form of a gas, but it has a slight ether-like odor and is not explosive. It is harmful to the environment and can destroy the atmospheric ozone layer. As for whether freon from a refrigerator of this brand is harmful, then everything is as follows - with a high concentration of the substance in industrial premises( the volume in the air is about 30%) leads to suffocation of a person. However, in the refrigerator it is not so much to create such an environment. If you heat it to a temperature of 330 degrees Celsius, it will begin to emit toxic gases.
  4. Brand R 22 or “difluorochloromethane” - just like the above type of freon in a refrigerator, was used in old models of refrigerators, today you will not find it. It is a gaseous substance, completely colorless, not combustible and not explosive. It has a faint smell of chlorine. The substance can easily destroy the ozone layer, but its potential is ten times less than the previous one. Able to decompose into harmful elements when in contact with a flame. For humans, it becomes poisonous only when it is heated to 250 degrees, when it begins to decompose into separate elements.

Although freons are in some cases harmless or not at all dangerous for human life, it is best not to take risks and not to come into contact with refrigerants.

How to find out what freon is circulating in your refrigerator

Find out what kind of freon you have in the refrigerator and its brand of your refrigerant in the refrigerator is easy enough, for this you need to look at the compressor housing and find a special tag that shows the brand of freon used, orany other substance. In case you do not want to move the refrigerator or there is no opportunity to get close to the back wall, then you can find out the type of refrigerant in the technical documentation.

What are the signs of freon leakage?

There are many leakage factors, some of which occur because of a person, and others due to factory production or inaccurate transportation of the device, or the refrigerator is simply outliving its lifespan. They are the following:

  • When you cleaned the ice in the freezer with a sharp object, you accidentally pierced the wall, after which you heard a hiss from this hole - here we are talking about a direct leak of freon.
  • The compressor works, but does not shut down, and when it is noticed that there is insufficient cooling of the chambers of the unit - when freon is leaking from the system, the refrigerator will not be able to maintain the set temperature, and it tries to compensate for this with continuous operation. If your refrigerator is two-compartment and there are two compressors installed in it, then you can notice a decrease in temperature only in one of the chambers, and if the compressor is one, then it will affect both chambers.
  • "Motor" of the refrigerator does not want to run - in case all the refrigerant has escaped from the system, the compressor will not start.
  • The control panel signals a malfunction - on modern models of refrigerators provides information panels that report system malfunctions by flashing certain indicators. Usually the meaning of these indicators is described in the device’s instruction manual.
  • You can identify the leakage visually - in this case, a small ice build-up will appear on the evaporator.

Most of the brands of freon have a high turnover, so that at the slightest depressurization the refrigerant can easily evaporate. Often, it is very difficult to determine where a substance is passing through, since the gas is colorless, and because of the compressor operation, you may not hear a hiss. In these cases, you yourself can do little, here only masters with special equipment will come to your aid.


Freon is the most important element for a refrigerator, without which it cannot function normally, therefore, as soon as you suspect its leakage from the system in the shortest possible time, contact an expert.

We hope that we have answered the question that interests you: is freon in the refrigerator dangerous or not? As indicated by the producers themselves, it is harmless until it enters a certain habitat, where it begins to decompose into toxic substances. Better not take chances, and in case of leakage, avoid inhaling the vapors of this substance.

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