Which Gas is Used in a Refrigerator [Old & Modern Refrigerators]

Have you ever thought what makes your refrigerator’s air cool and chilled? Do you have any idea about how a refrigerator keeps all your desired stuff preserved? If not, then you are in the right place.

Well, actually, it is the refrigerant gas which is responsible for doing all the tasks. Now, before you start thinking about the refrigerant gas, let us take you through the possible details about the same.


What is a Refrigerant Gas?

The refrigerant gas is a chemical gas which has extremely low evaporation points and is condensed under pressure for chilling the surrounding air. These gases undergo repetitive evaporation and condensation process and as a result, all its heat is pulled out and the temperature inside the unit is chilled out.

In the 20th century, fluorocarbons especially the chlorofluorocarbons were used very commonly in the refrigerator. But with time, they became phased out mainly because of their ozone depletion effects.

Do you want to know which are the Best Refrigerator in India?

History of the Refrigerant Gases Used in Refrigerator:

During the initial time of 1800 till 1920, only the toxic gases were used in the refrigerators. These gases were a mixture of chlorine, fluorine, and carbons. However, near about the year 1970, it was discovered that these toxic gases were dangerous to the atmosphere.

When these gases leak into the atmosphere, they undergo a chemical change due to the UV rays of the sun and thus cause the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion. After that certain measures were taken to find such refrigerant gases which can overcome this problem.

It is then when the refrigerant gases like HCFC (a mixture of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon) and HFC (a mixture of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon) came into the picture. HCFC gases have a shorter lifespan when they get exposed to the atmosphere and thus cause very minimal harm in regards to ozone depletion.

On the other hand, gases like HFC have no chlorine and thus cause no negative or harmful effect on the issue of ozone depletion. Also, this is the reason why these HCFC and HFC gases are trending and are getting popular to be used as the modern days refrigerant gases.


A quick glance at the various gases been used in the refrigerator:

  • R22 Chlorofluorocarbons – this gas was common in the older fridge but was ozone-depleting and thus is being phased out. It is not seen in any modern refrigerator
  • R134A Tetrafluoroethane – this gas can be seen in the present time refrigerator. Though, this gas is ozone-friendly but it is a potent greenhouse gas and thus will be phased out soon. However, it is the preferred choice of the current situation
  • R438A Freon – this gas is used as a replacement for R22 gas as it is non-ozone depleting. It is one of the trending gases used in the refrigerator and can also be found in many repaired refrigerators which were earlier running on R22 gas
  • R600A Iso Butane – it is a flammable gas and is used commonly in small modern fridges


Gases used in the Modern-day Refrigerator:

Gas Used in Modern Refrigerator in India 2022

Thanks to the advancements in technologies, we are living in a time where we can create a needed balance between fulfilling our needs and taking care of the environment. There have been many improvements in the living standards of people which have helped in further improving the surrounding atmospheric conditions. One such visible improvement that is done in the same direction is the use of better and defined refrigerant gases.

While the earlier gases used were quite harmful to the environment due to their ozone depletion factor, the new refrigerant gases are chosen quite wisely. These gases are so that they give the required support to the refrigerator to perform its best along with taking good care of preserving the environmental balance.

So, which are the gases that are presently being used in the modern-day refrigerators?

Interested in knowing? Have a look:

1. Tetrafluoroethane:

HFC-134a (1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane) is one of the commonly used refrigerant gases which you can find in almost all the present time refrigerators. This HFC-134a (1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane) gas is condensed effectively so that it can cool down the surroundings of the machine without causing the problem of ozone depletion.

The use of this gas started during the early 1990s and is still in progress in almost all the machines and types of equipment. It is easily available and also preserves the condition of ozone depletion in the best possible manner.


2. Chlorofluorocarbon:

R134A () is yet another gas that is used in refrigerators in the present day. It is used as a pressurized liquid which expands as gas for absorbing the heat and cooling the temperature within the fridge. The heated gas is again passed through the compressor for removing heat after which it is yet again pressurized to be used as a liquid.

The use of chlorofluorocarbon in refrigerator began in the early 1970s and you still can see many brands using this refrigerant gas in their products.


3. Polystyrene:

It is a popular insulator which is used as internal padding in a refrigerator for keeping the heat out from the machine. As its advantage, it is less costly and also acts as an effective barrier between the surrounding heat and refrigerator inside.

This, as a result, enhances the interior temperature of the machine and thus helps in delivering effective cooling. Polystyrene was first used in the 19th century as a refrigerant alternative.


4. Acrylonitrile:

You may find this effective insulator in some of the modern-day refrigerators which act as a perfect barrier between the surrounding heat and the machine’s interior. It is very easy and handy to clean this insulator which makes it a preferred choice to be used. The 19th century marked the use of Acrylonitrile which can still be seen.

This was some of the relevant information on the effective and popular gases used in the refrigerator for delivering the desired performance. With the introduction of each and every gas, not only the working of the refrigerator became advanced but also it helped to provide the best environmental balance.

12 thoughts on “Which Gas is Used in a Refrigerator [Old & Modern Refrigerators]”

  1. It’s a masterpiece of knowledge. It’s a well-written article about which gas used in refrigerator. I’ll share this article with my readers.
    Thank You.

  2. Hi guys. . I have a fridge that currently uses r134a gas. . .can I vacuum the system and replace it with an alternative ? Thanks

  3. It’s a masterpiece of knowledge. It’s a well-written article about which gas used in refrigerators. I’ll share this article with my readers.
    Thank You.

    • Never undertake fixes that you are unfamiliar with! Prying open, puncturing, or cutting into your fridge might cause the tubing to break, resulting in a leak. For the same reason, scraping ice out of the freezer is a terrible idea; it might harm the fridge if done wrong. A leak can also occur if you utilize a pressure gauge improperly on the tube, which can cause the seal to rupture. If your refrigerator is leaking Freon, this might be the problem.

      This is why we recommend hiring a professional. The last thing you need is to do more harm.


Leave a Comment