If you have an older air conditioning unit and are adding Freon (a.k.a. R-22) every year, it’s gonna cost you. Many homeowners in the Kansas City are finding out the hard way that older systems are becoming more and more costly to maintain. The crew at Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling want to help you understand why Freon is so expensive and what you can expect if you have to replace it.
Freon Is Making AC Repair Costly
You’ve probably already noticed that it’s getting more expensive each time you have your AC unit serviced. In fact, Freon can cost from $60-$85 a pound. If you have a leak, it usually takes between a pound to three pounds to get the system charged properly, and depending on your leak, it may not last through the whole season! You may find yourself sweating it out or adding more Freon before the weather finally cools down.
Why Is Freon So Expensive?
Freon is considered a greenhouse gas with ozone and other potentially hazardous environmental contaminants. In 2010, the EPA enacted a ban on Freon, and the price has been rising steadily (more than 400% since the ban was enacted!). In 2010, a total of 110 million pounds of R-22 were available in the U.S. As of 2013, only 39 million remained. (Remember economics 101? When supplies go down, the price goes up!)
So homeowners are faced with a dilemma similar to the age-old used car dilemma — how long do you keep pouring money into your old clunker before it makes more sense to bite the bullet and buy a new one? As the cost of Freon continues to skyrocket, you’re gonna get soaked — and we don’t mean with sweat!
Leaks Won’t Go Away
If you have a Freon leak, chances are it is not going away and it could get worse. There are tests technicians can run to try to locate the leak, but unfortunately leaks are extremely difficult to find.
If you have a leak, it’s time to start thinking about replacing your old unit with a new high-efficiency system. Not only is it unlikely to leak anytime soon, it’ll also provide better cooling and energy savings. Today’s air conditioners use a different coolant, R410, which contains fluorine instead of chlorine, and has no ozone-depleting qualities, making it environmentally friendly (and EPA approved).
Related Read: $7,500 in 5 Years: What a New AC Could Be Saving You