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What is Freon and What are the Signs of a Freon Leak in Your Equipment?

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What happens when a Freon leaks in a refrigerator or freezer? Is Freon leakage dangerous for health? How do you tell if there is a Freon leak? These are the questions we hear a lot from technicians; hence we are here to answer them today.

It is possible for refrigerant poisoning to occur if a person inhales or ingests the chemicals found in refrigeration equipment. These may be known as Freon. A small amount of Freon on the skin or a localized leak is not usually dangerous in a well-ventilated area.

Individuals who notice any signs of refrigerant poisoning should contact the physician or emergency service right away. Freon leakage can be hazardous when not taken care of for a more extended period. To avoid any major mishap, it is best to take care of it right away.

What is Freon?

The word “Freon” can refer to any of the fluorocarbon refrigerants found in HVAC systems. However, Freon is a name of a specific brand of refrigerant also. Freon is a chemical gas mixture that, under high pressure, turns into a liquid. 

Whenever a phase change occurs in the coolant, it is accomplished by the air conditioning compressor. There are some evaporator coils in the refrigerator through which the compressed and cooled liquid is passed. The heat is absorbed here, and it returns to the liquid state. The cooling appliance blower pushes the air into the environment after removing heat and moisture from it. That is why you get chilled air from an ac or refrigerator.

6 Major Signs of Freon Leaking in Refrigerator

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shutterstock 742574776

Nowadays, modern refrigerators have Freon as the primary and essential component. The basic function of Freon is to cool down the refrigerator's interior compartment by transferring heat. The food in the fridge remains fresh as Freon makes sure to maintain the temperature correctly.

Even though Freon cooling is a closed system, people may experience leakage sometimes. Freon leakage not only spoils the food but is also hazardous to health.

There are times when Freon leakage occurs, and people wonder why their refrigerators are not working correctly. To help the refrigerator technicians, we're here with some signs that will help you know if there is Freon leakage in the refrigerator or not.

Increase in Electricity Bills

Facilities may get Higher electricity bills in summer and winter because they use electrical appliances to cool or heat the houses. Electrical appliances that cause a hike in the electricity bill usually needs repairing.

If you get a complaint about the increase in electricity bills without any apparent reason check to see if there is a refrigerant leak. Usually, cooling equipment uses more power to work because of Freon leakage.

Spoiled Food

It is obvious to get a can of soda or an item of food that is super cold from the refrigerator. However, there are times when the food is not adequately chilled even after staying for hours in the fridge. This is the perfect time to check for Freon leakage.

A Freon leak could be the reason why a refrigerator or freezer is running a little warm. The leakage of Freon causes an imbalance in temperature regulation. When the temperature is not regulated correctly, the fridge fails to keep the food fresh.

So, if you get a complaint from a facility about food in the refrigerator getting spoiled, you should check for low refrigerant levels.

Chemical Odor from the Food and Refrigerator

People tend to check the food first when an unpleasant smell comes from the refrigerator.

You may not be familiar with the Freon's smell, but you can easily sense it as soon as you open the fridge. The refrigerants' odor, specifically of Freon, is very musty and unpleasant. When the food is not kept fresh, it leaves an unpleasant smell making the smell even more unbearable.

Refrigerator Motor Will Not Stop

Refrigerators use their compressor and condenser to keep the temperature reasonable when the weather grows higher. An incorrect amount of refrigerant will cause the motor to work non-stop due to the Freon leak. When the engine works continuously, the fridge becomes more susceptible to breakdowns.

You May Feel Sick Because of Freon

People who have been exposed to Freon for a prolonged period may suffer from it. They may feel dizzy or have a severe headache and may also lose consciousness in extreme cases. It would be best to consider whether they have been exposed to Freon if they are unwell for a while.

Those who suffer from prior heart issues may be especially susceptible to Freon's effects. A high concentration of Freon can cause arrhythmia and create pulses issues in the person.

Oil (Residue) on the Floor

You can tell it is a Freon leak if the refrigerator's floor is greasy. The oily residue on the floor is not real Freon (as Freon is a gas) but a byproduct. The residue is almost under the leakage spot, making it easy to spot it and fix it.


How dangerous is a Freon leak from a refrigerator?

One might not be at immediate health risk if the refrigerator is slowly leaking Freon. There is no evidence that Freon is carcinogenic; it won't cause cancer. However, it does accumulate in the body with time. Although the risks are low, leaks still pose a real threat if left unattended for long. Freon can be toxic when exposed to a burning surface; it becomes harmful when touching bare skin.

Can a Freon leak in a refrigerator be fixed?

Freon leak in a refrigerator can be fixed, but it is costly. People facing this problem are advised to buy a new refrigerator—the amount spent on repairing a freezer can buy a new one. Refrigerators having Freon leakage are very old; one should change them to avoid any significant loss.

What Is Freon Poisoning?

Freon is a mixture of chemical gases, which is unscented and tasteless. It doesn't kill a person immediately but can cause the cut off of oxygen to the body's vital parts. Freon poisoning happens when a person stays in contact with Freon for a very long time. Consuming or staying in touch with Freon almost every day causes illness.