Why did the cost of Freon increase substantially?
R-22, better known to most consumers as Freon, is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is a part of the United States government and develops solutions and creates laws that protect the environment. The EPA has joined with international efforts to eliminate ozone depleting substances. This effort is called the Montreal Protocol. Most countries around the world began enforcing the project shortly after it was started n 1987, but since Jan. 1, 2010, the US has been fully involved. As part of the Montreal Protocol, the EPA has begun a Phase Out program which will eventually lead to a complete ban on all ozone depleting substances that includes all HCFC (chlorofluorocarbons) refrigerants. The Phase Out works by slowly mandating the use of HCFC Freon to the point of nonexistence. Freon is a trade name introduced by Dupont. Other refrigerant names used by other manufacturers are Genetron, Isotron, Carrene and Frezone; although it is most commonly referred to as Freon by homeowners. Under the Montreal Protocol, beginning in 2010, Freon could not be used in newly installed HVAC systems. Instead of Freon, a more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R-410a was to be used.
How does that affect you now? It was recognized that Freon would still be needed for years in the servicing and repair of existing systems and can continue to be produced for servicing and repair purposes until 2020. Recently, the EPA proposed an accelerated phase-out of R-22 (Freon) which has caused the cost of R-22 to go up over 400% in the last two months. Our suppliers have also restricted the quantity of R-22 we can purchase.
If you have a system that uses R-22 (Freon), we will continue to be able to complete your repairs; however, your repair bill will reflect a higher cost for Freon due to the increase in cost for us to purchase it. We value your business and work hard to keep our service pricing competitive. We will continue to keep you informed about federal regulations, their impact on HVAC systems and how they affect you. Your understanding is appreciated. Please call us at any time for additional information.
How Does the Accelerated Phase-out of R-22 (Freon) Affect My Air Conditioning System?
The Environmental Protection Agency, a part of the US government, recently proposed an accelerated phase-out of R-22 which is an HCFC refrigerant known by various names such as Freon Genetron, Isotron, Carrene and Frezone. The Montreal Protocol, an international effort, has a goal to eliminate these recognized ozone depleting substances. Most homeowners refer to this refrigerant generically as Freon. As a result of the accelerated phase-out of R-22, the cost of R-22 (Freon) has increased over 400% in the last 3 months. In addition, our suppliers have restricted the amount of Freon that can be purchased at one time. If you have a system that uses Freon, we will continue to be able to complete your repairs, however, your repair bill will reflect a higher cost for R-22 refrigerant due to the increase in cost for us to purchase it.
Looking forward, if your system still uses R-22 (Freon), you should consider the following:
If your system is over 8 years old:
This may be the time to look at replacing your system with a newer one that uses the only approved refrigerant: R-410a.
If your system has R-22 (Freon) and is operating well:
We will take care of you. We have stockpiled enough R-22 for repairs, even though you should expect higher repair bills.
If your system has R-22 and the outside unit (compressor) fails:
It can sometimes be replaced with a replacement R-22 part, but you will be faced with higher R-22 and repair costs in the future. Outside and inside units need to match in size. Replacing your outside unit with an R-22 part is typically a lower cost ‘Band-Aid’ fix but may be an option for you, especially if you are not planning to stay in your home for more than two years.
Technology and equipment may change over time. But one thing that won’t change is
our commitment to you, our customer. We value and appreciate your business.
The longtime industry standard refrigerant used in most air conditioning and heat pump systems.
The 1990 Clean Air Act mandated that the refrigerant R-22 must be phased out. Per U.S. EPA regulations, new R-22 cannot be used in new systems effective in 2010, although service quantities of the refrigerant may be produced until 2020.
Recently, the government proposed an accelerated phase-out of R-22 which has caused the cost of R-22 to go up over 400% in the last two months. Additionally, our suppliers have restricted the quantity of R-22 we can purchase.
A Side Note About Puron
Carrier was the first manufacturer to develop indoor cooling products using Puron refrigerant as early as 1996. (Puron is Carrier’s branded name for R-410a.) As other companies worldwide raced to upgrade to the new refrigerant, Carrier had the experience of having introduced the first air conditioners with an alternative refrigerant – years before other manufacturers caught up.
Many people refer to all refrigerants as FREON, which is a trade name of DuPont. The EPA uses the term HCFC-22, but it is more commonly known as R-22, and is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon.