Ras al-Ain: Freon gas prices prevent refrigerator repairs

High maintenance costs for electrical appliances are disproportionate to the income of residents in Ras al-Ain - May 8, 2024 (Enab Baladi)

High maintenance costs for electrical appliances are disproportionate to the income of residents in Ras al-Ain - May 8, 2024 (Enab Baladi)


Enab Baladi – Ras al-Ain

With the arrival of summer, the maintenance costs for electrical appliances, especially cooling devices such as refrigerators, have risen in Ras al-Ain, northwest of al-Hasakah, imposing a financial burden on residents.

The cost of replacing refrigerator gas (Freon) has exceeded $50, while in 2023, it ranged between $20 and $30.

Maintenance costs are considered high compared to the standard of living and daily wages of workers, which range between 30,000 and 40,000 Syrian pounds (the US dollar equals 15,320 pounds).

The prices of refrigerators are also high in Ras al-Ain. European ones range between $240 and $500, while Turkish ones range between $250 and $400, according to Enab Baladi‘s monitoring.

Used refrigerators are priced between $100 and $200, while old Syrian refrigerators have been discarded due to their high electricity consumption and interference with solar energy systems.

High maintenance costs

The need for repairing any malfunction in cooling devices, especially replacing refrigerator gas, increases as it is a necessity in a very hot region.

Firas al-Aziz from Ras al-Ain regularly replaces his refrigerator gas because his refrigerator is old and leaks gas.

Al-Aziz told Enab Baladi that he was surprised by the high costs of gas replacement, considering that repair shop owners charge fees that are disproportionate to residents’ income and insist on payment in dollars.

He mentioned that he visited several shops to find a lower repair fee, but none accepted less than $50.

Firas al-Adnan from Tel Half in Ras al-Ain said that a refrigerator repairman asked him for $55 to replace the gas, considering it an exaggerated fee compared to 2023 when the cost did not exceed $20.

Yusra al-Mardali refused to pay $60 for replacing the refrigerator gas and wires as the cooling inside it had completely stopped.

She told Enab Baladi that she had to use her sister’s refrigerator, who resides in Turkey, until she could afford to buy a new one, as the current repair cost is half the price of a new one.

Price hike from the source

Amin al-Madouad, the owner of a refrigerator and cooling device repair shop, told Enab Baladi that the reasons for the high prices of refrigerator gas, known as “Freon,” are due to its price increase from the source, with a 60% rise this year alone.

He explained that there are cheaper types of Freon gas, but they are less efficient, especially in very hot areas.

He added that he is also affected by the high prices of Freon gas because residents opt to replace refrigerators entirely when the gas leaks, as replacing the gas sometimes equals half the price of a good used one, causing him to lose many customers.

He pointed out that these prices are likely to increase under these conditions since the supplier in Turkey increases gas prices periodically due to the depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.

One US dollar equals 15,320 Syrian pounds and 32.5 Turkish lira, according to the S-P Today currency rates website.

Al-Madouad mentioned that traders tried to bring gas from areas controlled by the regime and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), but it is very difficult due to rugged and tough roads and the sensitivity of the containers to any fall or spill, leading to their immediate damage.

Ras al-Ain witnesses high temperatures and dryness during the summer, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius in August.

Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad are located along the Turkish border, controlled by the Syrian National Army, and are surrounded by frontline fighting with the SDF, with the Turkish border being their only gateway to the outside.


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