If your air conditioner is over five years old, you might want to consider replacing it. Why? Newer units are up to 65 percent more efficient than those produced five years ago but, more importantly, the cost of freon has already tripled this year, and it looks like it’s going to continue to go up.
The Clean Air Act has forced the phase out of all R-22 freon gas production by 2020. This is the type of freon used in almost all air conditioning units made before 2007. The phase out began by limiting the production of freon R-22 to 25 percent of the total production before 2001, and by 2014 the production level will be down to 10 percent. Once the 2020 deadline arrives, HVAC service professionals will have to either reclaim, recycle or destroy any R-22 freon used.
Because of these changes, the demand for R-22 freon has stayed constant while the supply has been radically reduced, driving prices up. The reclamation, recycling and destruction of R-22 also adds to the cost of servicing the air conditioner.
The cost of freon R-22 will continue to rise as supplies decrease, and after 2020 it may be very hard to come by. Replacing your old A/C unit with one that runs on the newer R-422 freon won’t cost much more than servicing your existing unit for the next two years. In addition, with the current cost of energy, the higher efficiency of the new unit may actually allow it to pay for itself in a single summer.
A word of caution: when you are looking at new A/C units, don’t assume that the Energy Star label means that the unit doesn’t use R-22 freon. It only means it meets government standards for the Energy Star certification. If a particular unit is far cheaper than comparable ones, it’s a good indication that it runs on the R-22 freon, and it won’t save you much money in the long run.
Have questions about your current A/C system and whether now’s a good time to consider an upgrade due to the cost of freon? The experts at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal are here to help! Contact us today and we can answer ay questions you may have.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the cost of freon and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal services Northwest Arkansas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!