Informational Guide

Do Dehumidifiers Have Freon Or Refrigerants?

All dehumidifiers operate similarly to air conditioning systems. They employ compressed gas, mostly Freon, to remove humidity and heat from the inside.

by Josh M

Dehumidifiers make the indoor air clean and fresh. They do this by removing internal humidity, helping curb the growth of mildew and mold.

But did you know that all dehumidifiers operate similarly to air conditioning systems? They employ compressed gas, mostly Freon, to remove humidity and heat from the inside.

Want to know whether Freon or refrigerant can be added to dehumidifiers? Or do dehumidifiers have Freon in the first place? Read on!

Digital Hygrometer on White Wood

There are various kinds of dehumidifiers available to choose from; however, the most widely used options contain Freon. So, yes, dehumidifiers do have Freon in them, but what exactly is it?

Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (a colorless gas), best known as “R-22.” Recently, it has been known to contribute to the depletion of the ozone; therefore, it is gradually being phased out.

Now, you must be thinking, “why then do dehumidifiers use Freon?” To put it simply, your dehumidifiers are small air conditioners. That’s right! They operate precisely the way your centralized air conditioner works.

Have you ever noticed an AC hose – the one that leads to the drain in the basement? It drains water when the AC unit draws humidity from the house.

A dehumidifier does the same thing using Freon/refrigerant. However, with one difference: at the end of the cycle – where cool air is usually blown back into the house – the indoor air is warmed with the help of an additional heating component.

This way, you have the humidity extracted from the house without the house cooling down, maintaining the indoor heat.

The constantly changing condition of the refrigerant inside dehumidifiers takes the moisture and turns it into water.

Can Refrigerant Be Added to a Dehumidifier?

With normal usage, dehumidifiers usually last anywhere between 2 to 4 years. If the unit isn’t working adequately, you may think to add refrigerant. Based on the conditions, adding refrigerant to the device may solve the issue.

So, can refrigerants be added to recharge dehumidifiers? To put it concisely, all dehumidifiers with refrigerants can be charged.

In some instances, it’s a highly effective and safe thing to do. This is because a dehumidifier’s cooling coil employs compressed “coolant” gas, which collaborates with the refrigerant to extract heat and humidity from the indoor air.

If your house has excess moisture, that doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire unit. In fact, you can correct the issue by simply incorporating refrigerant into the dehumidifier.

Here’s an example to help you understand better:

Suppose you don’t have adequate refrigerant left in your unit, and it malfunctions. This can be due to two things:

  1. The dehumidifier is old
  2. It hasn’t been maintained well

However, you can restore it to full functionality by adding refrigerant.

How to Remove Freon from Dehumidifier

Let’s get one thing straight: you should never attempt to remove Freon from the dehumidifier by yourself.

If you do it yourself, chances are you may release harmful gases into the air. So instead, you should hire a professional technician to do the job.

Man in Yellow Hard Hat

Nevertheless, here’s how you can remove Freon from the dehumidifier:

  1. Cut the dehumidifier’s cords
  2. Unscrew its plastic covers and slowly pull it off. You’ll find Freon in the condenser placed within the dehumidifier
  3. Experts use 6000BTU cooling power recovery systems (similar to an AC unit’s compressors) to extract Freon from the condenser. Do the same.
  4. Attach output and input tubes to the recovery bottles and condenser, respectively.
  5. As the compressor starts, the Freon shifts from condensers to recovery bottles.
  6. Subsequently, both these tubes, if needed, can be swapped to shift Freon or refrigerant from recovery bottles to elsewhere.

How to Add Freon to Dehumidifier

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add Freon to the dehumidifier:

  1. Order your Freon recharge kit. This way, your task will become much easier as the kits come with tiny cylinders or gas can containing Freon or R-22
  2. Switch off the dehumidifier and remove the cable from the plug
  3. Gather the essential equipment you’ll need to crack it open
  4. Unscrew all nuts and bolts from the dehumidifier (Take pictures of where you’ve unscrewed from as it will help reassemble the device)
  5. Make sure to remove the top or back first
  6. After opening, remove the compressor, and you’ll spot the hose
  7. Grab the gas can and fasten it securely to the hose
  8. Within few minutes, all gas will be transferred into the compressor
  9. Once done, remove the gas can and reassemble
  10. Please make sure all the parts are in place before starting it again

Here are some things to be cautious about when following this process:

  • Wear a mask throughout the procedure
  • If you’re not sure and confident, call a professional technician to do it
  • Most dehumidifiers require charging after a year of heavy use. Thus, avoid frequent replugging as it will reduce its durability
Tanks of Freon to Recharge Dehumidifiers

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How long does it take to add Freon to dehumidifier?

Adding Freon to dehumidifiers, particularly those with silica gel, is a simple task. Most dehumidifiers typically use color beads, which turn green from orange when they require recharging. So, plug the device into the wall socket and wait for 7 to 10 hours for the color to change.

How long does a Freon generally last in a dehumidifier?

Typically, refrigerants or Freon have a relatively long lifespan. They can last several years before giving up. Buying a good dehumidifier can get you a minimum of one year of impressive service, based on the quality and brand.

How much does it cost to add Freon to a dehumidifier?

Typically, the cost to add Freon to dehumidifiers is between $190 and $550. However, the cost of the Freon depends on the size of the dehumidifier. Also, before recharging, assess the cost of recharging against buying a brand new one.


Most dehumidifiers used in the US are those with Freon gas. However, it’s phasing out due to its harmful effect on the ozone layer. We now have R-410A to rely on for the same task. Remember, all dehumidifiers contain Freon, and you can also recharge them to ensure proper operation.

Last Updated on July 27, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.