Have freon freezers

Can coolant leak out of the refrigerator?

Refrigerant in the refrigerator - coolant in the car

Cooling liquids are used to cool down hot things. For example, they can be found in the engine of machines such as cars and industrial plants: these substances are also called coolants.

In the refrigerator, on the other hand, there is a refrigerant like in an air conditioning system. This means is there to remove the heat from the room air or the inside of the refrigerator and to transport it away. Freezers also run on refrigerants.

The question often arises as to whether these substances, which are found in our kitchens very close to our food, are poisonous. The answer is, it all depends on how old your refrigerator is.

What refrigerants are in our refrigerators?

Old refrigerators can contain toxic substances, but the newer devices are equipped with non-toxic substances. You can use the following table as a guide:

Age of the devicerefrigerant usedrisk assessment
80 years and olderAmmonia, sulfur dioxide, methyl chloridetoxic substances, some of them flammable
15 years and olderCFChardly poisonous, non-flammable, ozone-decomposing
younger than 15 yearsPropane and butane / R134anon-toxic, propane and butane combustible, R134a non-combustible

The likelihood that you have a refrigerator that is more than 80 years old is very small. Because of this, you can assume that your refrigerant is non-toxic, but could well be flammable.

When the refrigerant escapes from the refrigerator

Since there is no cooling liquid in our refrigerators, but a gaseous refrigerant, this of course does not leak. But if there is a leak it can escape into the air, which is noticeable by a soft hissing and a strange smell.

Then the compressor switches off and the refrigerator no longer works. Especially if it is an old device, you should act quickly to minimize the escape of the highly ozone-depleting gas. In addition, refrigerators should be disposed of properly so as not to harm the environment.

After a refrigerator has been transported, it should be stored vertically for 24 hours before it can be used again. This gives the refrigerant enough time to sit down.

Author: Elisabeth Fey - Note: All information is without guarantee. Home »Living» Kitchen »Fridge