Ask us anything

Which gas is used in refrigerator to cool things?

The gas used in most modern refrigerators to facilitate the cooling process is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) known as R-134a. R-134a is a non-toxic, colorless gas that is widely used as a refrigerant in various applications, including household refrigerators, air conditioners, and automotive cooling systems. It replaced the previously used chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, which had detrimental effects on the ozone layer.

R-134a offers several advantages as a refrigerant. It has a low boiling point, which allows it to easily transition from a liquid to a gas and absorb heat in the process. This characteristic is vital for the refrigeration cycle. The gas passes through the refrigerator's evaporator coil, where it absorbs heat from the interior of the refrigerator, cooling it down. It then flows to the compressor, where it is compressed, raising its temperature and pressure. The high-pressure gas moves to the condenser coil, where it releases the absorbed heat to the surroundings and condenses back into a liquid state. The process is repeated, maintaining a cool temperature inside the refrigerator.

R-134a is chosen as a refrigerant due to its desirable thermodynamic properties. It has good heat transfer capabilities, allowing for efficient cooling. Additionally, it is stable, non-flammable, and does not react with metals or lubricants commonly found in refrigeration systems. These properties contribute to the safe and reliable operation of refrigerators.

It's important to note that the use of R-134a as a refrigerant is gradually being phased out in some regions due to its potential impact on global warming. There is a transition towards more environmentally friendly refrigerants with lower global warming potential, such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) and hydrocarbons (HCs). These alternatives aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the environmental impact of refrigeration systems.

In summary, the gas used in refrigerators to cool things is R-134a, an HFC refrigerant. Its low boiling point and thermodynamic properties enable it to absorb heat inside the refrigerator, facilitating the cooling process. However, the refrigeration industry is transitioning towards more environmentally friendly refrigerants to minimize their impact on global warming.
Connect to virtual expert

Our virtual experts can diagnose your issue and resolve simple problems.