If you have an older air conditioner in your home that has stopped blowing
cold air, you might be in for a surprise. When your Palm Beach County
air conditioning technician tells you that you need a simple recharge
and hands you an estimate that may be as high as several hundred dollars,
your jaw might hit the floor and leave you feeling as though you’re
being ripped off. This is far from true: the service itself isn’t
what has driven the price up, but your old air conditioner itself may have.
This is because many older air conditioners are built to run on a refrigerant
fluid known as R-22, or as it’s more commonly known, Freon. Freon
is a fluid that can be easily found in both liquid and gaseous forms and
is remarkably good at transferring heat from one place to another, particularly
when used in a heat pump. However, R-22 is also moderately toxic to both
humans and animals, and it also has qualities that have been found to
be damaging to the ozone layer of our atmosphere. As a result, the Environmental
Protection Agency ruled about 25 years ago that this substance needed
to be phased out.
Government Bans, Supply, and Demand
This is why the cost of Freon is so high today. Back in 2010, the EPA outright
banned the import and manufacture of air conditioners that were pre-charged
with R-22 refrigerant, and reduced its production by 75 percent to try
to curtail its usage. By 2015, the EPA wanted to reduce production levels
by 90 percent, leading to its eventual permanent removal from usage.
So what does this have to do with your air conditioner? Due to the severely-limited
supply of R-22 and the small number of air conditioning companies that
have the ability to even purchase it, the demand for this substance far-exceeds
the available supply. As a result, the price skyrockets. It’s become
extremely difficult to get Freon, and many people are even resorting to
purchasing reclaimed R-22 from old air conditioning systems to try and
cut back on costs.
What Can You Do?
What does this mean for your air conditioning system? Well, for starters
the only reason you should ever need to have your system recharged is
because you had a leak in your refrigerant lines, which necessitates a
major repair in the first place. However, the cost problem for Freon-powered
air conditioner owners isn’t going to go away.
While it might seem like a more expensive option, you might want to consider
outright replacing your air conditioner with a new, state-of-the-art system
that’s designed to run on a different modern refrigerant. Today,
most systems come pre-charged with a refrigerant that’s equally
or even more effective at transferring heat but has little to no ozone
layer impact, making them safe for use and even future-proof as they’ll
likely never be banned for environmental harm.
Learn more about replacing your air conditioner by
calling Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337!