Cost Of R22 For Older Air Conditioner Repairs Is Skyrocketing

The Editors's picture
cost of air conditioner repairs on older systems could skyrocket this summer

Air conditioner repairs this summer will come with skyrocketing costs for the refrigerant R22, more commonly known as Freon™, according  to a release.

Production of R22 refrigerant, which is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency because it contains environmentally harmful ozone-depleting substances, has already dropped by 90 percent. Production will be prohibited by 2020.

In air conditioner repairs, owners face the challenge of whether to repair or to replace a system using R22 refrigerant from both a financial and environmental perspective, according to the release.

“We are seeing the cost to repair older air conditioners needing additional R22 refrigerant increase by 300 to 400 percent, and that cost is only expected to increase as summer continues,” Dave Moody, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement for Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, said in the release.

Air conditioner repairs or upgrade?

 “The repair cost increases are helping drive many owners to upgrade to a new air conditioning system to be comfortable, as they can also save up to 50% on energy bills right away.”

New air conditioning systems use the more environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant, a different refrigerant that cannot be mixed or used in an existing air conditioner or heat pump designed for R22. Currently, reclamation and recycling of R22 is expected to be sufficient for existing systems, albeit at a much higher cost, providing time to upgrade systems before the phase-out period, according to the release.

“Owners don’t have to replace their entire system now, but it’s helpful for them to know their options in this situation,” Moody said. “It’s important to know you can’t mix R22 and R410A. When a new R410A system is installed, the outdoor equipment and outdoor coil both need replacing, and the interconnecting refrigerant tubing needs inspecting. These newer systems are often far more energy efficient and can significantly save on energy costs, sound pollution, or even utilize alternative energy sources like solar energy.”

The average life-span of many air conditioners is 8 to 10 years, which will help determine the cost benefit of either paying the premium price for R22 to repair older systems, versus upgrading.

Additional benefits to upgrading include the opportunity to take advantage of energy rebates being offered and improving a resident’s efficient use of energy. New equipment will also have longer warranty periods, quieter operation, and the peace of mind of a more ozone-friendly refrigerant, not to mention greater home comfort through more advanced technology.


Freon prices will skyrocket this summer

Phase-out of ozone depleting substances

Managing refrigerant in stationary refrigeration and air conditioning equipment


Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning locations have been serving their communities with air conditioning and heating repair, maintenance plans and new system installation for decades, and the average age of their service centers is over 50 years. Headquartered in Plano, TX, Service Experts is one of North America’s largest heating and air conditioning service companies with 90 locations across 29 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.

Freon is a registered trademark of The Chemours Company


Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)