Freon® Prices Are Going Up — Can You Afford To Keep That Aging Air Conditioner?
Freon® prices are on the rise, and unlike gas prices that fluctuate periodically, the rise in refrigerant prices will be permanent. When the U.S. signed the Montreal Protocol, it brought an end to the production of Freon® for any purpose other than replacing the refrigerant in existing equipment. As of 2020, the production of R-22 Freon® will cease. This formula of refrigerant contributes to global warming and the degradation of the ozone layer, which is why it’s being phased out.
Experts estimate that 80 percent of air conditioning systems use this chemical as the coolant. Even systems as young as five years of age may be dependent on the R-22 formula. When these A/C systems need refrigerant, owners will be faced with exceedingly high costs to refill them, and eventually may have to consider replacing the unit entirely.
If your air conditioner uses R-22, the best way to put off installing a new system is to keep it well maintained. Refrigerant doesn’t normally leak from systems. The main cause is allowing dust and dirt to build on the exterior coil through which the refrigerant circulates. Dirt acts as an abrasive that gradually erodes the metal material. In the years ahead, adding refrigerant may cost more than the air conditioner is worth, especially if it’s more than 10 years old. An older air conditioner’s energy efficiency is likely to be substantially lower than new systems that use the less expensive and more environmentally-friendly R410-A.
Instead of sinking hundreds of dollars into a system that uses a lot of electricity, especially in the face of rising Freon® prices, opting for a newer system instead of a Freon® refill may make better financial sense. The electrical consumption with a new air conditioner is less than an old system, and coupled with the affordable and effective R410-A refrigerant, the savings start immediately.
Air-Tro has served the greater Los Angeles area for more than 40 years. If you’re concerned about rising Freon® prices and your energy bills, contact us. We’ll be happy to give you more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Freon® prices and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Los Angeles area as well as the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County.