What’s in your wallet – new Freon?

11-20-2013 Note: Just got word from an HVAC technician I know that R-22 freon cost about $30-35/lb and R410A cost about $40-45/lb…or the new Freon is 30% more expensive than the old…

We’ve seen a change in HVAC refrigerants over the past several years – R-22 and R-410A…but what’s the big deal? The cost of course.

As you can guess, the newer refrigerant is much more expensive and not just the fact it’s new, but it may not be covered in your home warranty insurance and you may get some sticker shock replenishing your leaking (closed and different materials used to connect refrigerant lines produce leaks? ) HVAC system. And don’t think about just replacing your R-22 with the new R-410A – they both have different chemical properties so if your HVAC A/C needs replacement, unless you find another matching old A/C compressor, you will probably need to switch to a new R-410A compatible HVAC A/C condenser/compressor unit which means a whole new HVAC system – i.e., more expensive.

I heard somewhere the R-22 was supposed to be produced through 2020, but I’ve heard a much shorter time frame like 2016. So as it gets closer to the end for R-22,it will force most people into a newer HVAC systems.

Sometime near the beginning of 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the manufacture of equipment using R-22 Freon since it was determined to be more detrimental to the Earth’s ozone layer. And even though several systems remain that use that Freon, the R-22 systems aren’t being manufactured and supply will eventually run out.

Other potential expenses could include:

  • R-22 parts may no longer be available;
  • R-410A parts may not be used with R-22 parts & may require system replacement;
  • R-22 refrigerant may be in short supply as the production falls, and raise price
  • homeowners may wait to see if replacement parts are available and delay repairs
  • the newer R-410A refrigerant systems will be more expensive
  • recent options have included “refrigerant-less” systems, which may be even more expensive.
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