In a recent post on this blog, I discussed the growing issue of child safety as it pertains to the proper maintenance of air conditioners. In particular, I highlighted one story about a town that had experienced a rash of air conditioning-related theft, with children stealing the Freon inside many of these energy-saving devices for nefarious purposes. And while some readers may have felt that this was an isolated incident, the ramifications of this problem, along with recent changes by the Environmental Protection Agency, are already having an effect in Florida.
According to a March 23 article in The Florida Times-Union, the price of a Freon replacement for a residential or commercial air conditioner has increased substantially since last year. This price rise is due in part to the phasing out of old Freon because of its negative effect on the environment.
The news source indicated that the price jump for Freon, a type of chemical refrigerant that helps convert the hot air in these machines, will affect all air conditioners that were manufactured before 2010.
"What it means is they have tripled to quadrupled their price on Freon for a service call," Tom Karol, a service technician with the Jacksonville-based business Don's Air Conditioning, told the media outlet. "That's a hell of an expense."
Since the cost of Freon is expected to remain high for some time, homeowners who are in the market for an air conditioner may want to consider many of the low-cost new models available from online discount retailers. By looking for a lower price now and securing a more recent model, homeowners can avoid the high cost of replacing an essential part of this system down the road.