Are you trying to figure out why your fridge smells like gas?
Unfortunately, this is a common issue. I know how concerning it can be to have this happen, especially when you live with kids or pets.
The good news is that you’ve come to the right place for answers.
If you smell or hear gas from your fridge, chances are the freezer is in defrost mode, which is completely normal. However, if the issue persists and your food is warm, there’s a good chance you have a Freon leak.
Keep reading to learn more about this and forget all about the issue!
#1 Freezer Is in Defrost Mode
Hearing or smelling gas from your fridge can be super concerning.
But, what if I told you that you may be confusing this noise with the defroster mode?
You see, sometimes frost can form around your fridge’s evaporator coil. This can restrict air circulation and make your appliance work harder to stay cool.
This is why most modern refrigerators have an auto-defrost function that ensures good air circulation and helps control the appliance’s internal temperature.
When water drips onto the defrost heaters, you may hear a hissing noise, which can be easily confused with gas.
The easiest way to confirm that the sound comes from the defrost mode is by waiting for 20 or 40 minutes, or until the defrost cycle has finished.
If you can’t hear the noise anymore, then there’s your answer: your fridge was running the defrost cycle.
But, if you still hear gas coming from your fridge and your food is not cold anymore, you probably have a Freon leak.
Keep reading to learn more about this issue.
#2 You Have a Freon Leak
If you read the title and are wondering what “Freon” means, don’t worry… I’m here to help. Its meaning is far from obvious, but it’s crucial to understand it to fix the issue.
Freon is a gas that can transform into a liquid (and vice-versa). Freon is pushed through the coils of your fridge to interact with the surrounding environment and keep your appliance cool and your food fresh.
Other components, such as the condenser, evaporator, compressor, or T.X valve, are also involved in the refrigeration cycle.
Unfortunately, having a Freon leak could explain why your fridge smells like gas.
These are the 5 most common signs of a Freon leak:
- Spoiled food: As mentioned before, Freon is in charge of keeping your fridge cool. Unfortunately, if you have a leak, your fridge won’t keep your food fresh.
- Higher electricity bill: A Freon leak will cause your fridge’s motor to run non-stop, which will increase your electricity bills.
- Sickness: Unfortunately, if you’ve been exposed to Freon for a long time, you may start feeling nauseous or dizzy. Other symptoms include headache, itchy eyes, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, Freon can cause arrhythmia. Please call your doctor if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms.
- Smell: Your fridge may smell like gas or chemicals due to a Freon leak. Some people describe the smell as nail polish.
- Oil residue on the floor: If you have a Freon leak, you’ll notice an oil residue on your floor. This substance is not Freon (Freon is a gas), but a byproduct.
If you have experienced one or more of the aforementioned signs, you’ll need to find the Freon leak.
You can easily detect a Freon leak by making a visual inspection and checking if there’s oil residue on the floor. Normally, this residue is under the leakage spot.
You can also mix dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray it on the tubing. When Freon escapes the leak, it will create bubbles.
Bear in mind that the best way to detect a Freon leak is by calling a professional.
You see, Freon can be harmful to your health, and sometimes the detection process can be complicated. Professionals use different tools to detect a leak.
For example, they may use an electronic leak detector, which is the most accurate way to check for leaks.
They may also use a fluorescent leak detector, which will give off a bright yellow or green light under UV light on the leak spots.
Bear in mind that repairing a Freon leak may cost more than $200 USD. This price may vary depending on your fridge’s model and brand.
Tip: You can find your fridge’s model number on a label inside the appliance, door, on the sides, or back.
Please talk to a professional and ask for the exact cost (take into consideration your warranty). If it’s very expensive, I recommend buying a new fridge.
I know this is the last thing you wanted to hear, but you might find comfort in knowing that refrigerators are usually on sale in May, September, and October.
Moreover, gadget stores like Best Buy, have sales on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Fourth of July, or Memorial Day.
If you can’t afford to buy a fridge from a gadget store, you can check Facebook and Craigslist. There’s always someone looking to get rid of their fridge because they’re renovating their kitchens. You can also call your local big-box stores and ask if they have any display models for sale.
Tip: If you want to buy a new refrigerator but are still saving money, I recommend using a mini-fridge in the min time or prep a fridge-free meal plan.
How to Check if Your Fridge Is Under Warranty
When repairing a Freon leak, you might want to check if your fridge is still under warranty, since most manufacturers cover repairs or replacements.
Normally, refrigerator warranties are valid for one or two years from the original purchase date, but this may vary depending on the fridge you own.
When you bought your fridge, you received some documents. You will need to check them to see your fridge’s warranty.
If you can’t find this paperwork, don’t worry. You can enter the manufacturer’s website to verify the warranty length.
For example, if you have an LG fridge, you’ll just have to go to Google and search for “LG Fridge Warranty Information” or enter lg.com/us/support/warranty-information.
You can also contact the retailer, as they normally save customer transaction details.
That about covers it! I hope that this article has helped you gain some more confidence in solving the issue.
If you take anything away, please remember that if you hear gas from your fridge, chances are water is dropping into the defroster heaters. The hissing noise can be easily confused with gas coming from your appliance.
But, don’t forget that if you hear or smell gas from your fridge and your food is warm, you’re feeling sick, your electricity bills increased, or you have oil residue on the floor, there’s a good chance you have a Freon leak.
You can make a visual inspection or use soapy water to detect the leak, but remember to call a professional, as Freon can be harmful to your health.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. If you ever experience a different issue while using your fridge, please check out our related posts below.
Have a wonderful rest of the day!