What you need to know about freon

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.

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2012 Coupons & Rebates

We have updated our rebates page to give you all of the information on our 2012 coupons (new this year) and rebates. Currently there are two coupons and two rebates available. For all of the information check out the rebates page.

Hiring Commercial Service Techs

We are looking to immediately hire a commercial service technician. For more information please see Job Info.

What are your biggest questions?

Next year we are planning on doing a video series where we address some of your biggest heating and air questions. In order to do that though we need your help. Send us your questions, big or small, and we will try to answer them all!

You can leave a comment here, tweet at us, comment on Facebook or find us on Google+.

2011 Rebates

We’ve added two new credits on our rebates page for 2011. Go check them out if you are thinking about getting a new unit installed.


Construction begins on final part of City Market overhaul

Article from the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

The final phase of the City Market redevelopment is under way with the renovation of Market Hall building between Meeting and Church streets.

City Market Preservation Trust LLC announced today that the last part of the construction project that began in January has begun. The open-air part of the market renovation was completed in late spring, before the height of the tourist season.

The final phase, between Meeting and Church streets, will be anchored by an enclosed great hall. The city said the renovations so far have been met with “widespread enthusiasm from merchants and locals alike.” The renovation included the replacement of the mortar between the bricks, a process called brick pointing, as well as roof repair, new lighting and an open center aisle to improve traffic flow.

“The City Market is now better than it has ever been,” Mayor Joe Riley said. “With the completion of this next phase, the Market will be a place where everyone comes to enjoy their favorite local merchants and celebrate this very special part of our city. We look forward to another phase as well done as the others.”

Charleston City Council recently approved a $3.4 million bond issue to fund the final phase, the city said in a news release. Phase 1 of The City Market renovation included the first three buildings, funded with a $2.1 million bond issue. The city said that part of the project was completed on time and under budget.

The Charleston City Market includes four historic buildings stretching four blocks from Meeting to East Bay streets with 32,981 square feet of rentable space. The Phase 1 renovation between East Bay and Church streets opened fully occupied with more than 200 merchants and nearly 100 additional merchants on a waiting list.

“The City Market will be a tremendous upgrade to the center of the city of Charleston,” said Barry Newton, general manager. “This rising tide will lift all boats and will have a positive visual and business impact on the historic district at no cost to the taxpayers.

Newton said the city expects that revenue from operations will cover costs associated with the bond issue and renovation project.

The city said the great hall should open with notable local Charleston merchants, including Historic Charleston FoundationWonder WorksM. Dumas and SonsCharleston Shoe Co.Caviar & Bananas and Jimmy Hagood’s Food for the Southern Soul, as well as longtime City Market merchants.

“We are honored to be a strategic partner and staunch supporter of the newly restored historic City Market,” said Kitty Robinson of Historic Charleston Foundation. “Our retail presence will enable the foundation to introduce more residents and visitors to the intrinsic value of preserving Charleston’s rich cultural heritage.”

The Phase 2 renovations include the replacement of the roof and the installation of a skylight, which was donated by the Velux Co. of Greenwood.

Hightower Construction, which completed Phase 1 of the renovation, has been selected to complete the final phase. Glenn Keyes of Charleston is the project architect.David O’Neil, an internationally recognized public market expert, and Bob Gibbs, a nationally known retail consultant, have provided consulting services on the project.

Construction is expected to be completed in the late spring.

New Website

We’ve launched a new website! Please feel free to take a look around. Some features are still under construction so please be patient!

Historic First (Scots) expands — very carefully

Original story posted by the Post & Courier.

What if a new 20,000-square-foot building was built south of Tradd Street and hardly anyone noticed?

It’s no hypothetical question. It pretty much describes First (Scots) Presbyterian Church’s new Molly Wier Hall, which was dedicated Sunday.

The project, from its earliest architectural conception to the end of construction, took an agonizing seven years.

While there were many low points and moments of angst, both church officials and neighborhood leaders think the end result not only was worth the wait but better because of it.

read more…

Federal Tax Credit 2010

Please note this offer has expired!

Save up to $1,500 in federal tax credits on qualifying Energy Star equipment. Must be placed in service prior to 12/31/2010

Puron® Refrigerant from Carrier Offers Solution to R-22 Phase Out

The year 2010 marks an important U.S. milestone for ozone protection with the phase out of R-22, an ozone depleting refrigerant used in some new air-conditioning systems for more than four decades. To meet this environmental challenge, Carrier Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), introduced non-ozone depleting alternative cooling solutions with Puron refrigerant, approved in 1997 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to Puron refrigerant, most residential air conditioners and heat pumps used R-22 refrigerant, a chlorine-containing refrigerant that can contribute to depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, according to the KTH-EGI Phase out of R22 Refrigerant Study,

“In just 15 months, the widely used R-22 refrigerant can no longer be used in new cooling systems, but Carrier has been ready since 1996 when we introduced residential non-ozone depleting cooling systems,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of sales and marketing for Carrier Residential and Light Commercial Systems. “Today, Carrier’s environmentally-sound systems with Puron refrigerant cool nearly three million homes throughout the U.S.”

Beginning in 2010, the U.S. will require all residential air conditioner and heat pump manufacturers to produce systems that use only non-ozone-depleting refrigerants in accordance with the U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.  Although the Clean Air Act allows for R-22 to be manufactured in diminishing quantities through 2020 to service existing systems, published reports indicate that service demands may outstrip supply by 2015; potentially causing the price for this refrigerant to rise dramatically as availability declines, similar to what occurred in the automotive industry with the phase-out of R-12.

Anthony Morelli at Morelli Heating & Air stated, “Because of the potential increase in the price of R-22 and the impending total phase out, consumers considering a new home comfort system should consider the unit’s refrigerant much as they would a SEER rating or ENERGY STAR label. By choosing higher efficiency air-conditioner and heat pump equipment that use Puron refrigerant, consumers will be able to enjoy lower operating costs and environmentally sound operation while protecting themselves from potentially rising service costs associated with R-22 based systems.”

(courtesy Carrier Corp.)