Friday, February 17, 2012

Price of R-22 Air Conditioner Refrigerant Drastically Increases

Written by Jesse Muench



We are quite concerned about the recent drastic price increase of R-22 (also called Freon), a coolant used in many air conditioners, due to a regulation put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/downloads/Homeowner.pdf) that will phase out the use of R-22 completely by the year 2020. R-22 has been shown to release Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC’s), which are harmful to the ozone, leading the EPA to gradually eliminate it.

Because of this phase out R-22 refrigerant will gradually be produced less and less, thus diminishing supplies and increasing costs of the coolant. The cost for Freon recently doubled, and is anticipated to eventually triple, placing a major burden on air conditioner owners. The recent spikes in price have put HVAC contractors in a state of frenzy. In the South where air conditioners are used more frequently many HVAC companies are buying as much R-22 as possible thus making it even scarcer and making the price even higher in the North.

If you own an air conditioner that uses R-22 there are two primary issues that will affect you. The first is that as time goes on it will become more and more expensive to add Freon to your air conditioner, and eventually it will be completely unavailable. The second issue is that theft of R-22 from your air conditioner becomes much more likely. As Freon becomes more and more scarce and the prices rise it will become much more valuable, and increase the incentive to steal it.

Most air conditioners 5-10 years or older use R-22. If you are uncertain of what type of refrigerant your air conditioning unit uses don’t hesitate to give us call and we can help you determine if this recent price shift will affect you. We are also available for any questions you have about this change or challenges it may present to you. Feel free to give us a call at 262-677-1037 for any of these questions or for more information. There is also a Frequently Asked Question section on the EPA’s website that can help you better understand what this all means for you. We will keep you updated of any major changes in this matter right here on our blog. Also be sure to watch the video attached below in which our owner Steve Holland briefly discusses what to expect with Freon and how it will affect you.

The information contained in this article have been written for the HVAC industry public or private and are not to copied, reproduced or plagiarized without the written consent of the author. News publications and trade organizations interested in using content contained in this blog/article can contact Steve Holland at Holland Home Services at the Contact Us section of this.

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