Increased Freon costs could be mitigated with new air conditioners

Older air conditioners could be cheaper to replace in some instances.

In yesterday's post, I touched on the topic of how, due to a change in government regulations regarding the chemical refrigerant Freon, the cost of refilling an air conditioner tank with this necessary component is set to increase. However, I wasn't able to tackle the topic in depth.

As a result, I wanted to explain in more detail how old Freon, known colloquially as R-22, is being phased out. The government says this is because it contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons, gases that have been linked to depleting the earth's vital ozone layer.

But, despite the this plan of action, the government is allowing older units to be services with R-22. As such, consumers with older air conditioning units are not required to stop purchasing this type of Freon, should they need to refill their air conditioners this summer. However, due to the lack of availability of this type of Freon, the price for a replacement is expected to increase.

Some sources have estimated that the price for R-22 Freon will increase from $40 per pound to around $100 per pound, and since an air conditioner typically takes between five and 10 pounds of the gas, the total cost of a refill is predicted to rise from around $100 to as much $400.

"These are direct costs that we are paying to buy this refrigerant and we have no choice but to pass this along to the consumer," Ed Miller, president of Florida-based Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning, told the Florida Times Union in a recent report.

As a result, consumers could benefit by simply purchasing a low-cost air conditioner from a discount online website if they need to replace their old unit's Freon. Since newer models use the more readily available R-410A, this could equate to lower costs when this new machine needs to be serviced down the line.

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