You noticed how high the price was if you recently had R22 put into your heating and air conditioning system. No matter where you live or what company you call, expect to pay a pretty penny to add R22 to your system. This is due to the rising price of R22, and it is going to continue to increase! This article will explain why the price of R22 is rising, and options to avoid adding R22 to your system.
What is R22?
R22 is a type of refrigerant. It is used to make air conditioning systems run. Once you have R22 in your system it does not need to be replaced and will continuously cycle through. If your system has a leak and starts to lose the refrigerant then you will need more added in. With a minor leak a small amount of R22 can be added to your system. For months or years your system may run fine. On the other hand if your leak is larger it will require more R22. Depending on how fast it’s leaking it could last for only a few months, a few days, or even just a few minutes! There is no way to tell the size of the leak or how long the refrigerant will last. Without solving the problem it’ll be a costly choice to keep adding it to the system .
Why is the Price of R22 Rising?
You were probably paying next to nothing to have R22 added to your system 10 years ago (but we’re sure everything was a lot cheaper back then!). A little thing called the Montreal Protocol is the cause of recent spike in the past few years. The EPA has ordered a phase out of R22 due to the negative impact it has on our environment, causing the price of R22 to rise. Angie’s List states, “As part of the agreement, production ended in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22 and production of the refrigerant itself was reduced by 75 percent. As of 2015, R-22 production has dropped by 90 percent. By 2020, it will no longer be produced at all.” This means the price of R22 is not going to drop anytime soon, so what options do you have?
Other Options Besides Adding R22
You have a few options if your system has a known leak and you are constantly having to add R22. You can continue to keep “gassing” it up as we call it. Though it’s not an option we would recommend with the price rising for R22. You can repair the leak instead of throwing your money away adding refrigerant you know is going to leak out. O’Brien Service Company can perform a leak search to see where your system is leaking the R22. We can then quote you a price to replace or fix the leaking part. While this might solve the problem for the time, if another part starts leaking, you’re right back to where you started. So depending on the age, condition, and price to fix the leak, sometimes the best option is to replace your system.
New systems now use R-410A. A more environmentally friendly refrigerant that has replaced R22. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also cheaper since it’s so readily available. And before you ask, no you cannot add R-410 to a system that uses R22, sorry!
In conclusion, the price of R22 is rising due to the phase out. The price is not going to drop anytime soon. If you’re constantly having to add refrigerant to your system you may want to consider repairing your system. Or if it’s a better option you may need to replace your system. O’Brien Service Company can take care of all your air conditioner’s needs, so don’t hesitate to give us a call. Whether you need R22 added, a leak search and repair quote, or an estimate for a new system, contact the pros at O’Brien.