Why is R-22 Refrigerant So Expensive Now?

R-22 Refrigerant Summer is here and many NJ homeowners may be surprised to find out how much AC repairs could start costing due to the rising costs of R-22 refrigerant. If your system has had any issues in the past, now’s the time to pay attention.

AC Repair Costs Skyrocket Due to Mandatory R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout

The Clean Air Act, which was enacted in the 1990’s, stated the Environmental Protection Agency would phase out ozone depleting substances. As part of their mandatory phaseout, the U.S. government has placed restrictions on how much refrigerant can be produced. R-22 is what creates the cold air that blows into your home, but it’s now known to contain harmful, ozone-depleting substances. The production has already dropped by 90% and by 2020, R-22 refrigerant will no longer be produced.

This means that as supplies dwindle down, the cost of the refrigerant will continue to skyrocket (by as much as 400 percent). A simple (and shocking) lesson in supply and demand.

So, what can you do about it?

If you have recently replaced or upgraded your HVAC system, you’re more than likely not going to be affected by this phaseout. But for those of you with older HVAC systems in your home or office, repairs could start becoming quite costly.

What are your options?

How to Handle the Phaseout of R-22 Refrigerant

If your system is running fine, without any problems, you really don’t have much to worry about… at the moment. But if the time comes that your air conditioner starts leaking and requires additional refrigerant, it could be time to say adios to the old AC. In addition to being less environmentally friendly, since older units are less energy efficient, your best option is to replace your HVAC system.

New air conditioners use one of the EPA-approved refrigerants like R410a (the top environmentally-friendly refrigerant for new air conditioners). The great thing about a new AC that uses R410a is that it operates much more efficiently than the older systems that rely on R-22. But systems that use R-22 and those that use R410A use different pressures (they cannot be mixed), which means that to make the switch, you’ll need to change out all your equipment.

Not sure if you should make the switch?

Avoid the Expensive Costs of R-22 Refrigerant

The average lifespan of a home air conditioner is eight to ten years. This should help when determining the cost benefit of either paying premium prices for additional R-22 refrigerant to repair an older system or go with an energy-efficient upgrade.

As one of Monmouth and Ocean County’s most trusted heating and cooling companies, Brown’s works closely with homeowners and business owners throughout New Jersey to help address the problems they face due to the skyrocketing costs of R-22 refrigerant. Our team of NATE-certified technicians deliver expert service, repair, maintenance and installation on all HVAC brands. Call us today at 732-741-0694 to learn more.