If you’ve ever found yourself in need of repair for an older heating and cooling unit, you might be baffled and shocked when your specialist quotes you a price. How in the world could something as mundane as a recharge be so pricey? The answer to this is straightforward. If you own an older HVAC unit, it probably operates on R-22 Freon refrigerant which now goes for around $85 to $120. Believe it or not, this isn’t a scam. Here is why freon prices are rising?
R-22 Is Being Replaced
R-22 or freon as it is known as the #1 refrigerant for central heating and cooling units for a long time. However, freon is also famous for being toxic, containing high levels of ozone-depleting elements. It was very harmful to the environment. As a result, the EPA phased out freon around 31 years ago.
In 2010, the EPA banned the import and construction of HVAC units that were pre-charged with freon. Also, freon creation was reduced by 80%, and overall production was diminished by 95% as of 2015. Ultimately, freon will be phased out.
Supply & Demand
What does this have to do with the cost of your recharge service? Supply and demand influences market costs. With freon not being available on the market, the price has to rise to compensate for the need for the product. As a result, the high cost will put a drop in demand as folks begin looking for affordable, practical alternatives.
Also, the prices are a way to get people to get rid of their freon-using units. Also, the EPA has made it very hard to get freon at all. It can be bought from licensed retailers, and you must have a permit or permission. This adds to the high cost of buying freon which is why only a couple of contractors are still willing to work with any more.
What You Can Do
If you have a freon-based unit, odds are it’s beginning to show its age.
If you want to avoid paying the high cost for freon, consider having your unit replaced with one that runs on a new, efficient, eco-green refrigerant choice like R-410A. Make an appointment with a Rochester HVAC technician who can assess the health of your unit and can help you plan for future replacement.