Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Rising Refrigerant Prices: Time To Retire Your Old A/C?

It is no secret that summer can be hot in Southwest Arizona, and our air conditioners and heat pumps are running almost continuously. Unfortunately, running that old A/C is about to get more expensive and not just due to the price of electricity, refrigerant prices are skyrocketing as well. In line with an international environmental agreement, the federal government has been phasing out the use of ozone-depleting R-22, also known as R-22 refrigerant, with a target of discontinuing production completely in 2020. As of 2010, all new A/Cs and heat pumps have been charged with an alternative refrigerant formula that doesn’t work in the models outfitted to use R-22. As the same time, R-22 available for recharging existing units is becoming scarcer, which is resulting in a steep rise in R-22 prices.

This will only get worse. The federal EPA has implemented a strict recycle, reuse or destroy policy for all HVAC techs working with the refrigerant. These factors have caused refrigerant prices to triple in the last six months and service calls to increase, too. These costs will continue to rise.

If you purchased your air conditioner or heat pump before 2010, it likely runs on R-22. It’s also up to 65 percent less efficient than the new Energy Star certified cooling equipment that’s available today. Is it time to replace your old A/C unit? That depends on whether your unit needs to be serviced within the next year or two (you will have to replace your A/C unit by 2020 or rely on a recycled R-22 distributor, which could be pricey). You will see significant energy savings by switching to a more efficient unit but it may not offset the initial costs.

If you would like to learn more about your potential savings and the long term benefits of replacing your old air conditioner with a new, more efficient, model, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about refrigerant prices and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co services the Yuma area in Arizona. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!