Has your air handler just stopped blowing out cold air? Maybe it is getting up there in years or maybe it has a minor leak that you have to get charged up seasonally. Whatever the situation, heating and cooling repair can be expensive. This is especially true when it comes to refrigerants or Freon
. You’ll likely be flabbergasted when you are handed a bill having to do Freon
. Whether it is just a small leak repair or a few pounds, your jaw will be left on the floor when you see your invoice. Some companies today are charging as much as $100 per pound of Freon
. It would only be natural to assume that you are getting ripped off and this is probably why you’ve landed on this site.
The first thing you need to know is, you are not being taken for everything you are worth. More than likely, it is possible that your system is utilizing what is known as R-22. This is what is considered the old-style refrigerant and it is being phased out, hence the high price. This is, however, something your HVAC tech should have discussed with you. Just in case he or she didn’t, here is what you need to know.
A Negative Impact On The Environment
For the past could of decades, the heating and air industry has relied on what is known as R-22 refrigerant. They have been utilizing this coolant to facilitate heat transfer to keep your homes and buildings cool. At one time, this Freon
was not only easy to produce, but it was effective at doing its job. Heck, it is still effective. It might not be as effective as the newer stuff, but it is still more than capable of doing its job. The real difference comes from the volatility. It has been discovered that the chemical compounds used to manufacture R-22 are extremely destructive to the environment.
It has been said that the substance is depleting the ozone and it is considered one of the leading factors of ozone depletion. This is why the EPA is now ordering the substance to be phased out and replaced. This was, of course, 30 years ago. Fast-forwarding a bit and now in the year 2021, the EPA is instituting bans on importing the substance. New units are no longer being manufactured with this type of Freon
and techs are no longer allowed to repair minor leaks that exceed so much refrigerant over a year’s period.
Simply put, R-22 is being run out of town and this is why you are paying out the roof for it. You will if you want to keep it because it is becoming harder and harder to acquire. Eventually, you will not be able to get it.
Supply And Demand
When it comes right down to it, it is the supply and demand that have caused the price of Freon
to soar. There are still plenty of systems out there running off R-22 refrigerant and homeowners that aren’t just yet willing to switch over to the new Freon
. Combine this with the dwindling supply and you can see just how demand has risen. This with the fact that the substance has become so heavily restricted and it only adds to the severity of the situation. This has lead to something known as reclaiming. A lot of manufacturers have started reclaiming the substance.
As a matter of fact, most of the R-22 Freon
sold today is reclaimed refrigerant. This is basically Freon
that has been pulled out of a system, ran through a filtration system, restored, and then resold to homeowners. Sounds kind of like a rip-off, doesn’t it? Well, it hasn’t caused the prices to decrease. Just because you are buying reclaimed refrigerant, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be getting it at discounted prices. One will still be paying top dollar for that substance.
What even makes the situation all that much worse is, you have to purchase the substance from licensed dealers. You might, if you are lucky, find the substance for sale online, but then again, you’ll likely end up paying more than what you’d pay through a licensed manufacturer. This is why it is best to just deal with a trained and certified professional. In addition to this, you never know what you are getting and you don’t get any guarantees when purchasing from some online entity. The certifications that are required to buy, handle, and purchase Freon have risen over the years as well and have become more strenuous as well, which has only added to the overall costs of the substance.
What Effects Is This Having On Homes?
As you can imagine, the rising cost of Freon
is having a crushing effect on the already struggling homesteads of today. Most households are already cutting back and finding themselves dipping into savings because of COVID and unemployment. You can just imagine what an unexpected repair cost of a Freon
leak would do to an average household today. While you might be able to save a bit buying reclaimed or online, you are still going to pay out the butt for the substance. This is why your very best option is to just go ahead and make the switch.
This, of course, will mean purchasing an entirely new system, but in the long run, it’ll end up saving you astronomically. The new systems run off what is known as R-410A refrigerant. It is much more ozone-friendly and can be manufactured at half the cost. Not to mention, this Freon will likely be around years and years while R-22 is still being phased out.
There is simply no denying that the costs of replacing your entire system seem like a huge investment, especially during these trying times, but it will be worth it in the long run. Any certified or trained HVAC tech
would likely tell you the same. Combine this with the fact that these new systems are more energy-efficient, and you’ll end up saving a bundle on your electrical bills. Who knows, when all said and done, the system might truly end up paying for itself. A highly trained HVAC in the New York
area should be able to present you with a price savings chart as well as a savings prediction. Know what you are investing in before investing and know the potential earnings you stand to gain.