Do Refrigerators Use Freon?

Freon has been used in refrigerators for decades now. Since it was banned, do refrigerators use Freon? In 2010 the United States passed a resolution to ban the importation and manufacture of Freon in all 50 States.

It was done in line with the push for the eradication of substances that damage the environment. Freon is a refrigerant that was used in a lot of refrigerators and HVAC units in homes and commercial buildings.

To this day, a lot of these appliances use Freon as a cooling agent. Over the years, it was discovered that Freon was harmful to the Ozone layer. Since that time, moves were made to ban the use of Freon in the United States.

As an initial step, the manufacture and importation of Freon in the United States were banned as of January 2020. This, however, does not mean that appliances that use Freon are banned. It simply means that the supply of Freon will eventually run out at some point and Freon using appliances phased out as a result.

Refrigerators manufactured before 1995 use Freon as a cooling agent. It is an odorless gas that operates within a sealed environment in refrigerators. The amount remains the same and only diminishes in cases where there is a leak. As of 2020, Freon is no longer being imported or manufactured in the United States after a ban was effected.


Do all refrigerators use Freon?

Not all refrigerators use Freon. Freon was a commonly used refrigerant post-1995. Almost all fridges used it during that time. As concerns about the environment grew and the ozone layer, in particular, studies revealed that Freon was ozone-depleting.

Though Freon is odorless and does not harm human beings in immediately noticeable ways, it does have long term effects on the ozone layer.

To safeguard against global warming and protect the future of the planet, it was agreed that the use of Freon is done away with albeit on a gradual basis.

This moved the gears into motion towards a complete ban of Freon and other CFCs. Though the ban didn’t go into full effect, some manufacturers began to take the necessary steps towards compliance in anticipation of a full future ban.

Is Freon still used in fridges?

In 2010, the EPA mandated the ban of Freon in the USA. As already stated, the full ban went into effect in January of 2020. What the mandate meant was that all refrigerators and HVAC units manufactured from 2010 onwards stopped using Freon.

Freon is no longer used in new refrigerator models being manufactured in the United States. However, older model fridges are still in use even after the ban.

Does it mean that these need to be disposed of? Not necessarily. Though getting rid of them is an option, you don’t necessarily have to do that.

You can have older models of fridge modified by retrofitting them with a mechanism that allows them to use modern alternatives that are environmentally friendly. If you do decide to get rid of an older fridge that uses Freon by disposing of it, make sure that the Freon is safely disposed of.

If you choose to take this option, make sure to have a certified technician come in and remove the Freon from the fridge before disposing of it.

The good thing about Freon is that it does not run out or deplete as long as there is no leak in the system. Effectively, you can keep fridges that use Freon.

The only risk is when you actually do experience a leak. Besides the risk to the environment, you will have a hard time finding a replacement Freon the further away we move from 2020.

Even if you do find the Freon, chances are high that it will be very expensive due to the low supply on the market. If you are taking the option of retrofitting a new Freon alternative, it has to be emphasized that this process has to be carried out by a certified professional with the right equipment.

Only under those circumstances can you ensure that the Freon is removed and stored in the proper manner.


Though Freon has been used for quite a long time now, the concerns raised over its impact on the ozone layer has prompted the ban. This means that modern refrigerators no longer use this gas as a refrigerant.

Care needs to be taken in cases where old refrigerators that use Freon are being decommissioned. The Freon has to be removed by qualified personnel in order to avoid damage to the environment.

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