All refrigerators need a refrigerant; a refrigerant is a chemical compound that releases cold air into the fridge once it passes through the conductors and compressors in your refrigerator.
This it does after absorbing air from the environment.
Non-freon refrigerators usually use a different refrigerant called HFC-134a instead of freon.
This refrigerant used in modern refrigerators is more environmentally friendly than freon, so it was discontinued.
Non-freon refrigerators are refrigerators that do not use the fluorocarbon refrigerants that were used for refrigerators and air-conditioning units. Freon was previously used as a refrigerant and cooling agent. However, once scientists discovered that the refrigerant was capable of causing ozone layer depletion, it was phased out. And that led to the popularity of non-freon refrigerators.
Are There Refrigerators Without Freon?
Several refrigerators do not use the freon because the environmental Protection Agency labeled it harmful to the environment.
Although some freon refrigerators are still being used, freon has been banned, so manufacturers cannot use them to make fridges.
Some of the more popular refrigerators that do not have freon include:
#1. GE GTE18GTNRWW
This compact refrigerator manufactured by GE is environmentally friendly, and it does not use freon as a refrigerant.
Instead, the refrigerant used in this refrigerator uses R-600a, an ecologically friendly cooling agent.
Although the refrigerator may seem behind, its energy consumption is low and does the least possible harm to the ozone layer.
It also draws less power and is more dependable than other more flashy picks.
#2. Samsung RF28T5101SR
This classic French door refrigerator is energy efficient and does not have freon. It can store a lot of food and uses the environmentally friendly refrigerant R-600a.
In addition to the amole space and French door style, the refrigerator has a door-mounted water dispenser and an ice-maker in the freezer.
Additionally, the shelving system is done to make even more space for storage within the refrigerator. The product strikes a model’s balance between efficiency and usability.
What’s more, the refrigerant is not toxic to the environment.
#3. Hisense Table Top Refrigerator
The Hisense tabletop refrigerator was explicitly designed for use in places like single offices, hotel suites, and bedrooms.
It was manufactured with a very efficient compressor and used R-600a instead of freon.
#4. Samsung RT21M6213SG
This is one the Samsung’s most energy-efficient refrigerators ever manufactured, it’s now available with R-600a, and it no longer uses freon.
It also has wide, deep drawers and makes very little noise compared to other fridges.
Other refrigerators brands make freon-free refrigerators, including LG, Hisense, Haier, and Whirlpool.
However, it’s also important to note that refrigerators consume a lot of energy, so it is essential to have an energy-efficient refrigerator and its refrigerant to reduce your carbon footprint.
When Did They Stop Using Freon In Refrigerators?
The Environmental Protection Agency labeled freon an ozone-depleting substance in 1994 and began phasing out the fluorocarbon.
Replacing freon in refrigerators and replaced with R-134a. Only refrigerators manufactured before 1994 still use freon as a refrigerant.
However, the government banned the production and importation of freon in the U.S back in 2020. So since 2020, producing or distributing freon in the U.S has been illegal.
Freon is a non-flammable fluorocarbon used as a refrigerant and sometimes an aerosol propellant. Freon is often construed to include other CFCs and HCFCs, although freon is a brand name.
However, not all refrigerants are called freon because it is a name for one brand.
However, the term freon has become a more generic name for most fluorocarbon refrigerants like R-12, R-13B1, R-502, R-503, and R-22, all manufactured by the same company that manufactures freon.
Environmentalists began to kick against freon and its use in refrigerators and air conditioning units when it was discovered that the fluorocarbon was capable of depleting the ozone layer and causing other harm to the environment.
Subsequently, the Montreal Protocol of 1987 banned most CFCs and put severe restrictions on others.
However, even then, the process of phasing out freon started as many manufacturers were already replacing it with HFCs.
However, with the continuous depletion of the ozone layer and dwindling environmental protection, even HFCs are under strict scrutiny and may be phased out sooner rather than later.
How Does A Freon Free Fridge Work?
Freon has been used as a refrigerant for a long time, and it is one of the most popular refrigerants.
However, environmental protection advocates condemned freon, and it was banned for use in refrigerators because of its ozone-depleting substances and was deemed harmful to the environment.
Since then, other refrigerants have been used as cooling agents in fridges, even without freon.
These refrigerators work even without freon because the other refrigerants that replaced freon perform the cooling function that freon is supposed to act.
To preserve our food and cool our drinks, the fridge needs to keep the surrounding temperature warm to prevent harmful bacteria from reproducing quickly.
The fridge transfers heat from inside the refrigerator to the outside, so the outer part and sometimes the surrounding area are usually warm.
For this to work, there has to be a refrigerant.
So, first, it is the refrigerant; this circulating refrigerant changes from liquid to gas, resulting in the process called evaporation and cooling of the desired area inside the fridge.
So, even freon-free fridges have other forms of refrigerant. Otherwise, they will not be able to cool down anything.
So, first, the evaporation process begins, and then the refrigerant changes form from liquid to gas, but to keep the fridge going and cool your food, the gaseous refrigerant needs to transform back to liquid form.
A few essential components in a refrigerator are the refrigerant, the condenser coils, the evaporator, and an expansion device.
All these interact even in a fridge without a freon to perform the cooling function as long as there is a kind of refrigerant.
What Replaced Freon In Refrigerators
With the phasing out of freon as a refrigerant, more climate-friendly refrigerants had to be used to replace freon.
And apart from freon, there are other refrigerants and cooling agents that don’t have global warming potential.
Most of the countries that banned the use of freon wanted environmentally friendly alternatives. Refrigerants that will not cause harm to the ozone layer or any other part of the environment.
Some of the other refrigerants used in place of freon include.
#1. R-600a Or Isobutene
R-600a is a grade of Isobutane that has become increasingly popular for use as a refrigerant due to its low global warming potential.
As a result, the refrigerant is progressively replacing R-12 and R-134a as a cooking agents for refrigerators and air-conditioning units.
In addition, it is also used as a refrigerant for drink dispensers, freezers, and display units. R-600a is a hydrocarbon refrigerant, which is highly flammable, making it challenging to work with.
Therefore, you must handle it in a safe and controlled environment.
#2. R-290 (Propane)
Another hydrocarbon refrigerant replacing freon is R-290; the EPA recommends refrigerators that use R-290 because the substance is not toxic.
It’s natural and does not contain any properties known to deplete the ozone layer.
In addition, this refrigerant is a cost-effective and climate-friendly option. It is an excellent option for use in refrigerators and air conditioning units.
R-290 is a highly flammable hydrocarbon and a highly effective refrigerant that has much lower global warming potential than freon.
With the phasing out of freon in refrigerators, it was replaced with R-134a, also known as tetrafluoroethylene, a hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant.
Its components and properties are similar to those of R-12.
However, it has much lower practically non-existent ozone depletion potentials than freon, which is why it replaced freon as a refrigerant when the latter was being phased out.
Therefore, it is used to cool refrigerators, freezers, dispensers, and air conditioners.
This environmentally friendly alternative to freon also has the same thermodynamic substances as freon and refrigerants. As such, it is not an uncommon replacement for refrigerants.
It is commonly found in air conditioners, water chillers, and standalone displays in commercial and residential areas.
R-407C is not harmful to the environment and has been accepted by environmentalists as a safe replacement option for freon.
Non-freon refrigerators are refrigerators that do not use freon as a refrigerant.
Freon was the most popular refrigerant for use in refrigerators; however, it was phased out because it contained harmful properties to the environment.
On the alternative, however, other substances can be used as refrigerants instead of freon; as such, there are several non-freon refrigerators in circulation.