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What Is Freon? Is Freon A Gas Or Liquid?

What Is Freon? Is Freon A Gas Or Liquid?

Many times, we choose to do lots of DIY projects ourselves. Whether we’re looking to save money, learn a new skill or something else, we all resort to solving our own home maintenance issues ourselves, from time to time. So, if your latest DIY project has you asking? “What is Freon?”, we have the answers and information you need now! 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

What Is Freon And How Does It Work?

In the most technical terms, Freon is a CFC or what is called a chlorofluorocarbon. Not only has it been connected to ozone depletion, but it is slowly but surely being phased out. Freon is the chemical that most of us associate with usage in our air conditioning units. But Freon can also be found in chest as well as upright freezers.  Additionally, Freon can also be found in lots of food transportation refrigerators and close storage warehouses. Lots of kitchens have large walk-in coolers, that utilize Freon. 


Is Freon A Gas Or Liquid?

Freon is also a trademarked name for a group of CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons that are used as refrigerant chemicals in lots of air conditioning systems. Freon is a gas when it is at room temperature. It transforms into a liquid once compressed and cooled. As gas, Freon is virtually odorless, colorless and even non-flammable. Many Freons have a smell that is ether-like too. 


Is Freon Now Banned? 

Freon- which is the refrigerant chemical that was once widely used in older commercial as well as residential and commercial cooling systems- is now banned. In fact, the R-22 component, which is the principle additive in Freon, is banned. Why? Well there is now evidence that supports that the R-22 component can cause significant damage to the Earth’s ozone layer, while contributing to global warming.


Now That Freon is Banned? What are my Options? 

Homeowners that have A/C systems and appliances that utilize R22 have the following options: 

  1. When your refrigerant levels get low, you can have your present A/C system or appliance recharged or serviced with Freon, just as long as recycled or stock quantities are readily available.
  2. Your HVAC tech can have your present system retrofitted to operate on a Freon alternative.
  3. Your HVAC tech can replace your system with a new HVAC system. Chances are, your old A/C system is nearing the end of its lifecycle anyway.


Can I Still Get Freon? Is It Still Available?

Yes, but it is gradually being phased out. As of the year 2020, the R-22 chemical can be no longer imported or manufactured into the U.S. But some HVAC companies still have a limited supply of the R-22 compound.  Many HVAC companies also use recycled Freon to keep older A/C systems running till all of the R-22 is used up.  


How Do I Know if My Home A/C System Uses Freon? 

If your home A/C or heat pump were installed and manufactured about ten years ago, then it may utilize Freon. You can find out what your system uses, by reading the label or information that is located on the manufacturer’s label of your A/C unit. You can also ask your HVAC tech too. 


What If I Can’t Afford a New System? How Do I Extend the Life of My Old One? 

A brand-new A/C unit for your home may not be in the budget. So, how do you extend the life of your present one? First, you want to have an HVAC tech perform regular maintenance on it. Secondly, you may have to find a HVAC tech that still has Freon available. That tech may advertise his Freon supply on social media- say Facebook or Craigslist- for example. The day will come, that you will have to decide whether you want to try your chances at finding a tech that has Freon, or simply buying a A/C system that is retrofitted to utilize a Freon alternative.


Great Facts About Freon 

Check out some great facts about Freon that you will find most helpful. 

Freon Exposure Can Cause Asphyxia 

Should you ever encounter a leak of Freon that’s in your freezer, refrigerator or air conditioning system, and your HVAC technician discovers it, you want to get it remedied right away. There is a chance that the exposure to the leak could cause asphyxiation. Symptoms include inability to concentrate, irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, depression of the nervous system and more. Although Freon can lead to asphyxia, this is more of an issue in more confined or closed off spaces.

Saying Farewell To Freon 

Do you have a system that was manufactured just after the 2003? Then chances are, it uses a better and safer refrigerant than Freon. For AC units and other units that were produced after 2010, your unit definitely uses a refrigerant different than Freon, for cooling. As Freon is being phased out, it may get more expensive to utilize Freon. This will propel home owners to purchase and replace their older AC units that are more eco-friendly units and products. Thankfully, with these newer models, homeowners will save on cooling bills as well as repair costs. 


Freon is Slippery 

Freon is a chemical that is very slippery. For a Freon leak, it can take about six hours. But depending on the amount of pressure, it can take as little as 30 minutes for Freon to leak. 


Can Freon Kill You?

Inhaling Freon can produce effects that are similar to drinking or consuming large amounts of alcohol. Choosing to inhale Freon, can eventually cause brain damage and even freeze the lunge. Prolonged inhalation of Freon can indeed kill you. Unfortunately, there was a trend that may teens adopted: inhaling Freon.  Back in 2009, Freon inhalation killed two teenagers, while leading to the hospitalization of thousands of others. Back in 2010 thousands of people reported exposure to Freon as well as similar propellants. This led to death. 


What Type Of Freon Is Used In Cars?

Most vehicles on the road today, utilize R134a refrigerant. This chemical compound makes a car’s A/C system blow very cold on very hot days.  

What Are The Various Kinds Of Freon Or Automotive Refrigerants In Vehicles? 

Check out some of the various kinds of auto refrigerant below! 


For lots of years, R12 was the standard automotive refrigerant. It got the job done and was very cost-efficient. But as time progressed, scientists quickly found out that it was a chemical that was responsible for the ozone layer’s depletion. So, in 1994, it was banned from being used in all new cars that were sold in the United States.  If you are driving a classic vehicle, then chances are you are driving a vehicle that has R12 refrigerant. But your car should still be legal to drive. 



Chances are, your present vehicle has R134a refrigerant in it. In fact, lots of cars that are on the road today, R134a refrigerant is in the A/C system, offering a cool climate for drivers and passengers. R134a not only has low flammability, but it’s also far kinder to our atmosphere.  Just about every vehicle built since 1994 is designed with R134 refrigerant in its A/C system. There is a slight downside to this particular refrigerant. Many scientists have found that R134a has tremendous greenhouse gas potential/ As it enters the atmosphere, it can take a considerable amount of time to break down. Given such, all new vehicles that are sold in the U.S. after the year 2021 are no longer allowed to use the R134a refrigerant.



When you look to the future of automotive refrigerator coolant, you can look to R1234f. R1234yf was selected to replace R134a in all brand-new cars by 2021. Lots of vehicle manufacturers have already switched to this new Freon auto refrigerant. While this new refrigerant has new many similarities to R134a, it has one tremendous difference: it breaks down a lot faster once it enters the earth’s upper atmosphere. This means that this new refrigerant will be a smaller threat to global warming. This new refrigerant is also quite easy to upgrade and enter into a vehicle’s A/C unit. 


What Causes Freon To Leak Out Of Car?

When it’s a hot day, you need cool air in your car. But you’re faced with a Freon leak. So how in the world did the Freon leak out of your car’s A/C? There could be many reasons. But some of the most common ones are heat, time and moisture.  As time marches on, a vehicle’s A/C system can become suspectable wear and tear of rubber parts. Those rubber parts that once held chemicals that kept you cool during your car trips, are now lose, cracked, fractured or just broken down. Generally, refrigerant leaks out of the AC system at areas where there are O-rings, hoses or seals that are simply just worn out.  Moisture can then come though the leaking areas, sometimes mixing with acids, and leaking out. 


What if My A/C Unit in my Car has A Freon Leak? 

If you suspect that you’re A/C in your car has a Freon leak, then it’s time to visit a mechanic. Typically, lots of automotive shops will combine an ultraviolet dye with the refrigerant- so that your auto tech has a visual indicator of the source of the Freon leak. While the average cost to repair you’re A/C unit is about $300, your auto tech should supply you with a written estimate outlining all that needs to be done, to fix the leak. You want to ask questions, as well as get a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Find out where the leak is. Find out what the auto tech will do to fix the leak. Finally, get all costs written on a piece of paper. Be sure that you know exactly what will be done, to repair your Freon leak. 

What is Freon? – Related Content That Can Help You Now! 

Now that you have a general idea of what Freon is and how it works in your home and car, check out related content we have! Just click on the title of each article below to read more!