How To Remove Freon From Fridge? – A Responsible Citizen’s Guide

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, you need to hire a certified professional with an accredited coolant recovery kit to remove the freon from your fridge. 

Why Remove Freon From Fridge?

Is your refrigerator old and not working correctly? Are you tired of disposing of food that went bad, even if in the fridge? You must be thinking of getting rid of the old fellow and replacing it with a brand new one.

But wait! Before you go on to throw your old refrigerator in some scrapyard, you need to remove the freon from it.

Why? Freon is a coolant used in air conditioners and refrigerators to produce a cooling effect. It is extremely hazardous to our ozone layer and our health if consumed significantly.

Therefore, there are specific rules and regulations regarding removing freon before disposing of a refrigerator. You cannot simply cut your fridge’s freon tubes and let the coolant run freely into the atmosphere. The EPA or The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires a license and proper equipment to do the job.

how to remove freon from fridge

How To Remove Freon From Fridge In Four Steps?

If you have decided to let go of your old refrigerator, EPA’s Clean Air Act requires you to do the job through these easy steps:

1. Contact Local Municipal Authority

First, you should check with your local municipal authorities for their waste disposal terms and arrangements. The department that usually deals with waste disposal is the public services department.

Make a call and see what they say about removing the freon and where to dispose of it. Pay attention to their disposal guidelines, the documentation you will need, and any other details you need to be aware of to complete the job.

If you are in luck, your municipal department may even provide you with a list of certified refrigeration technicians near you.

2. Hire A Certified Professional

According to the EPA, only Section 608 certified technicians should remove the freon from your fridge or air conditioner. It may cost you a small service fee, but it is safe and legal. 

You can search the internet for nearby technicians that provide the service. Alternatively, you can ask the municipality for a list of certified technicians that operate in your area.

When the technician arrives at your home to remove the refrigerant, always check the Section 608 certification to be sure.

correct use of freon

3. Let The Technician Remove The Freon

Now that you have called a professional, they will arrive at your home at the decided time and remove the refrigerant from your fridge according to the rules of EPA.

They will use a certified refrigerant removal kit to entirely evacuate your fridge’s freon tube. The kit typically contains:

  • An AHRI certified recovery machine
  • A DOT certified recovery cylinder that is not past its non-usability date
  • A weighing scale 
  • Different hoses to evacuate the freon safely

The technician will store the recovered freon in the cylinder so that none comes in contact with the environment.

Last, they will weigh the cylinder with freon to ensure they got all out.

4. Request Freon Disposal Documentation

After the technician removes the refrigerant from your fridge or air conditioner, they should provide you with documentation to prove the job done.

The documentation should mention:

  • The date of freon removal
  • Technician’s name
  • Your name
  • Technician’s Section 608 certification information
  • Refrigerant type and amount
  • Details of the appliance (model, make, serial number, etc.)
  • HVAC company information
  • The location where the technician removed the refrigerant (probably your home address)

Keep the documentation safe with you for verification with the authorities.

Where Can I Dispose Of My Old Fridge?

After removing the freon from your old fridge, you need to think of places you can discard it. Here are a few establishments you can choose from, as per their availability in your area:

Municipality Waste Program

Ask your municipality if they have a waste program where they pick up old appliances from your home in return for some fee. However, these programs mostly require a prior freon removal from the fridge.

RAD Program

The Responsible Appliance Disposal or RAD program runs in conjunction with EPA, which encourages proper disposal of old refrigerators by providing pickup services. You can check the EPA RAD Partner website to see if your state has one of these programs.

Exchange Offers

A few retail stores like Home Depot often offer an exchange program where they accept your old refrigerator in return for a new one that you buy from them.

Non-Profit Organizations

Several non-profit organizations accept old but functioning refrigerators to be used for charity. Explore options near you if you want to donate your appliance.

wasted refrigerators

FAQs On how to remove freon from fridge

Why can’t I remove freon from my fridge myself?

The American Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has strict rules regarding freon removal before discarding a fridge. Only a certified technician can drain the freon safely to avoid any environmental or health hazards according to these rules. 

How much does freon removal cost?

Freon removal costs from a refrigerator typically range from $35 to $45. The prices do not include tax and are variable according to your area of residence and the mode of transportation.

How long does it take to recover freon from the refrigerator?

The time required to remove freon from an appliance depends on the appliance type, amount of freon, and the size of the removal kit. It usually takes 10 to 30 minutes.

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