R-22 (most commonly known as Freon by consumers) is no longer used in the manufacturing of new air conditioners. Due to its ozone-depleting properties, R-22 is considered harmful to our planet. New air conditioners and heat pumps use a more environmentally sound substance called R-410A.
Although R-22 Freon is still the most commonly used refrigerant due to a lot of older air conditioners, production of R-22 has almost disappeared due to the Montreal Protocol. Due to high demand, and short supply, the prices of R-22 has increased by 300%+. It has reached the point that if your AC is out of R-22 refrigerant, it probably makes more sense for you to just buy a new air conditioner.
The EPA has prohibited freon production by 2020.
In the meantime, adding freon to your old system can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your unit.
“The next shock is the cost of having to upgrade your equipment,” said Rodriguez.
The price of a new system on average is about $3,000 to $5,000 due to technology upgrades and efficiency standards.
Homeowners can save money and ward off costly repairs by having their system inspected and cleaned yearly, and by changing filters on schedule.
As reported by WHIO TV 7, the main reason why your old AC system is out of Freon is a leak. You can avoid these types of mishaps through proper maintenance conducted by a true professional. The quality of your professional air conditioning maintenance depends on the technician that executes the service, but there are some things that most licensed HVAC companies should perform as outlined by Service Champions Heating & Air Conditioning.
So there you have it. Now that you understand that the price of Freon for older air conditioners has skyrocketed, you may want to consider buying a newer more-efficient air conditioner if the Freon is completely depleted. A new air conditioner used a more environmentally friendly R-410A. To ensure that your old air conditioner lasts as long as possible, make sure you have a professional HVAC contractor tune-up your AC once a year.