Did you know that the average American home has over 200 appliances? If you’re like most of us, your refrigerator is probably one of them. But, with the help of propane refrigerators, your icebox can be a lot more than just somewhere to store your leftovers. Depending on your needs and preferences, these appliances come in a wide variety.
There are compact models perfect for smaller homes or second-story apartments, side-by-side fridges with double doors, and even outdoor refrigerators if you want to save space in your kitchen. With so many options available, let’s examine the pros and cons of the best propane refrigerators for your home. But first, what is propane refrigeration?
What is a Propane Refrigerator?
Propane refrigerators are AC/DC-powered appliances that use a type of liquid refrigerant called R-22. This is similar to the freon you might find in traditional refrigerators, but it is a non-ozone-depleting, environmentally friendly-fluid. Propane refrigerators use electricity to power the compressor inside the unit, and the refrigerant inside the appliance is compressed and cooled to create a cooling effect. This cooled gas is moved around the refrigerator and freezer, keeping the food inside cool.
Propane refrigerators come in both under-counter and freestanding models. When choosing a propane fridge, it’s important to remember that these appliances use a lot of electricity. This is because propane refrigerators don’t run on a consistent power supply like traditional AC units. Since the amount of power used is often determined by the temperature setting, you could find higher-than-average electricity bills if you don’t choose the right model for your home. To prevent this, it’s best to find a propane refrigerator with an energy-efficient rating.
How Do Propane Refrigerators Work?
As an electric fridge does, a propane refrigerator relies on basic chemical reactions rather than a coolant. The name “propane fridge” comes from the device’s use of a flame fueled by a propane tank to cool its contents.
A propane refrigerator has several tubes and chambers that are hermetically sealed and filled with water, ammonia, and hydrogen gas. First, a mixture of water and ammonia is heated until it boils in a chamber with a propane flame. Next, the ammonia gas is cooled into a liquid in a condenser chamber. A mixture of hydrogen gas and the liquid then flows to the evaporator.
Ammonia and hydrogen gas react chemically, releasing heat. Because of this heat transfer, the ammonia and hydrogen in the propane fridge can cool the fridge’s interior. However, as it warms, ammonia reverts to a gas. So, hydrogen gas and ammonia gas are turned into hydrogen and ammonia, and then ammonia is turned into water. When ammonia and water mix to make a solution and rise to the evaporator, they give off hydrogen gas. Following that, the procedure repeats itself.
Unlike traditional refrigerators that run on AC power, propane refrigerators work by using a type of liquid refrigerant called R-22 (r22 refrigerant). This fluid is comparable to the freon typically found in conventional freezers. However, it does not deplete the ozone layer and is beneficial to the environment. Instead, propane refrigerators use electricity to power the compressor inside the unit, and the refrigerant inside the appliance is compressed and cooled to create a cooling effect. The gas, which has been cooled, is then moved around the fridge and freezer to keep the food inside cool.
Best Propane Refrigerators
When you’re looking for the best propane refrigerators for your home, you have a few options that vary in size and features. So whether you want a side-by-side model for your family or a smaller appliance for your second-story apartment, there’s a propane fridge out there for you. Here are a few of the best propane refrigerators on the market today.
Smad Propane 3-Way Refrigerator
This propane refrigeration comes in 4 different sizes, which include 1.0 cubic ft., 1.4 cubic ft., 2.1 cubic ft., and 3.5 cubic ft. This means you can get the best size, even though the price varies. In addition, this is a freestanding fridge, and it is compact.
The door’s hinge can be revised so that it opens in either direction, and you can remove the shelves for easier cleaning. It also saves time. It is the right fridge for homes with young children or the elderly. It is almost soundless with a no-Freon absorption cooling system and produces no pollution.
- Comes with a free pressure gauge.
- Good customer service
- Reversible doors
- Not too bulky
- Energy efficient
- A larger size means a higher price.
- Not for large families
Superior Propane LP Gas Off-Grid Refrigerator
The superior freestanding fridge has 2 doors and a 10 cubic-foot capacity. It is one of the most desirable refrigerators and operates on propane (LP) gas. Altogether, it has a 7.6 cubic foot refrigerator and a 2.1 cubic foot freezer and can be powered by either propane or 110V electricity. Simple controls on the refrigerator’s control panel include the igniter, safety valve, and thermostat.
It also has a flame indicator to show you when the flame is lit, removable shelves, and a vegetable crisper, and the doors have space for two-liter bottles. For appropriate air circulation, a gap of four inches should be allowed at the unit’s top, while a gap of one inch should be left at the unit’s rear and sides.
- It is efficient
- It can be powered by solar.
- Gets cold fast
SMETA Propane Refrigerator with Freezer
Here is another propane fridge from SMETA. The fridge runs on propane, while the freezer uses electric absorption. On average, the daily usage of gas is approximately 0.6 pounds. One good thing about this SMETA propane fridge and freezer is that it uses LPG, AC 110 volts, or DC 12 volts. So, this is it if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly fridge to use off the grid or in outdoor dorms, camping, RVs, motorhomes, and garages.
Both the fridge and freezer have enough space to contain your daily to weekly needs, and this is because they have large storage compartments, each including slide-out storage shelves and a crisper drawer made of clear plastic. Another important feature is the silent operation and simple interface, with zero pollution and just a moderate amount of energy used.
- Quick customer service
- Quick cooling
- No noise
- Good compartment space
- Ideal for home use, outdoors, or camping
Pros of Having a Propane Fridge
Propane refrigerators have advantages over traditional AC units that you should consider before purchasing.
- These refrigerators are more efficient, use less electricity, have fewer breakdowns, and are environmentally friendly.
- Another benefit of choosing a propane fridge is that it generally has a longer warranty than traditional AC units. This is because most propane refrigerators are built with a more durable design than traditional models.
- These appliances are also easy to install and don’t have to be vented, making them a great option for RVs, boats, and outdoor spaces.
Cons of Having a Propane Fridge
As with any appliance, there are some downsides to choosing a propane fridge over a traditional one with AC.
- One thing that could be bad is that propane refrigerators are usually more expensive than traditional refrigerators that use AC.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that these appliances work better in cooler temperatures. So if your home is very warm, your food may be warmer than in an AC unit.
- Another thing to note is that many propane refrigerators come with a shorter warranty than their AC counterparts, with several models only offering a one-year warranty on parts and labor. This is because these appliances are designed for outdoor use, which requires a more durable design than indoor appliances.
Nothing beats having fresh produce available year-round, and a propane fridge is the best way to keep your fruits and veggies fresh in the winter months. This is especially true when you add a propane fridge to a greenhouse or indoor grow space. Having an outdoor propane refrigerator also means you don’t have to deal with noisy indoor units when trying to sleep.
It can be difficult to fall asleep with an AC unit running in your home, but you’ll barely notice a propane refrigerator outside. Depending on your needs and preferences, these appliances have wide varieties to choose from.