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What to do about the Rising Costs of R-22 Refrigerant

small_4929680991Last year we ran a series of blogs about the
phase-out of R22 refrigerant and the introduction of
R410a, the refrigerant that is replacing R-22. In the time since we published
those posts, the government has been attempting to expedite the phase-out
by restricting supplies to R-22. As a result of these restricted supplies,
the prices for R-22 are on the rise and will make certain air conditioner
repairs a lot more expensive this summer. We at Jerry Kelly want to keep
you informed about how the rising costs of R-22 might affect you and offer
advice on how to best handle it.

Who will be affected by the rising costs of air conditioner refrigerant?

R-22 has been the most widely used type of refrigerant in homes across
the country for decades. As a result, the rising costs of the
refrigerant will affect many homeowners in the St. Louis area.

In 2010, the use of R22 refrigerant was banned in any newly-installed air
conditioners. If your home’s air conditioner was installed prior to
2010, there is a good chance that it uses R-22 and that the rising costs
of the refrigerant will affect you eventually.

That being said, you only need to worry about the rising costs of R-22
when your air conditioner requires more refrigerant. Refrigerant does
not go bad with time, and air conditioners that are working properly always
maintain the same levels of refrigerant. It’s not until your system
develops a refrigerant leak (or your system was
improperly charged that you’ll need more refrigerant.

Advice for St. Louis area homeowners

  • If your air conditioner is working properly: You don’t need to worry about the rising costs of R-22 at this time.
    However, it should be noted that cooling systems that use R410a refrigerant
    are more energy-efficient and cost less to operate than systems that use
    R-22. If you’re interested in upgrading to a higher-efficiency air
    conditioner, installing a new system now will allow you to avoid the rising
    costs of R-22 in the future and also save you money on operating costs.

  • If your air conditioner requires more R-22: You have two options here. If the leak is small and you only need a little
    bit of refrigerant, you can make the repair without it being too expensive.
    However, many times a leak can develop again down the line and you might
    need to add more R-22 again, which can add up. If the refrigerant leak
    is larger, it might make more sense to install a new air conditioner that
    uses R410a, because adding a large amount of R-22 will be very expensive.

  • If your air conditioner uses R410a: No need to worry! You are already using the new and more efficient refrigerant,
    and the rising costs of R-22 will not affect you.

If you have any questions about the rising prices of R-22 refrigerant,
or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home,
contact Jerry Kelly, your
St. Louis HVAC company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Clayton, Frontenac
and Manchester.

photo credit:
wirehead2501 via