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Freon 12

Freon 12 was the brand name that dichlorodifluoromethane was sold. It was used as a refrigerant after it was discovered in 1928 and in aerosol spray but the manufacturing thereof was discontinued after forty five years after scientists discovered its potential danger to the ozone layer. It is however, still used in some refrigerators and it is important to understand what the characteristic of this element are and how it works.

Freon 12 boils at approximately minus twenty one degrees Fahrenheit at atmospheric pressure, which would mean that it will boil and evaporate at a room temperature of sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit. If the door of the refrigerator is left open, the heat inside the refrigerator will have the Freon 12 boil at a very low temperature. This will have the heat inside the refrigerator move into the evaporator. This is how the temperature inside the refrigerator is kept so low.

It is important to know that the heating Freon 12 will cause a rise in pressure with a risk of bursting. It may also give off irritating or toxic fumes if used near a fire if the cylinder is not kept cool under all circumstances. Inhalation of this chemical may lead to drowsiness or unconsciousness and must there for be used only in well ventilated areas. Direct contact with this chemical may lead to frostbite and in the event of contact with the skin the place of contact must be rinsed with water and the individual must be referred for medical attention. It is therefore important to note that this chemical must be handled by authorized and licensed people who carries an EPA-certification and who are trained in recovery and recycling procedures.

Freon 12 was also used in the air conditioning systems in motor vehicles, but after is was banned because of all the potential dangers, all systems that used Freon 12 had to be serviced by licensed mechanics as special equipment and tools was used to prevent possible leakages or atmospheric spills. As a result, Freon 12 was replaced with R134a in 1993 as R134a is a much more environmental friendly chemical and is non-toxic and non-flammable. By 1995 all new vehicles were equipped with R134a – air conditioning systems. The old air conditioning systems that used Freon 12 uses mineral oil.

An air conditioning system that uses Freon 12 can be converted to a R134a system. For those who still have the old air conditioning systems in their vehicles, do not worry. It is safe while it is in the air conditioning system. Just make sure that if there is a problem, the right person will attend to it.


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Refrigerant Supply Inc provides this information in its website as a free value to anyone who cares about environmental or chemical issues. The sources of this information could not be validated. This site is a compilation of information meant for casual reference only. Refrigerant Supply Inc. assumes no liability whatsoever for the accuracy or use of the information offered. It is hoped that this resource provides users with a heightened interest in such matters, stimulating independent research and review. Any matters which need professional attention may be brought to our attention via Email.

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