A big change is underway in the HVAC industry that will affect many of our customers in the Coachella Valley. The use and manufacturing of R22 Freon is being discontinued, and the costs of replacing the refrigerant are skyrocketing. Hyde’s wants to make sure that you completely understand this change, how it affects you and what your options are to deal with it.
Why is the cost of Freon rising?
In 1992, the government set a plan in place to phase out the use of R22 refrigerant (commonly referred to as “Freon”) by 2020. Freon is the most commonly used refrigerant in homes across the country, so this change is something that will affect many homeowners in the Coachella Valley.
The reason for the phase-out of Freon is that the use and manufacturing of the refrigerant has been linked to damaging environmental effects. Freon is also less efficient than R410a, which is the refrigerant that all air conditioners manufactured since 2010 now use.
Although Freon is not supposed to be phased out until 2020, the government has been fast-tracking the phase-out by cutting supplies, which causes the price of Freon to rise. In 2012, the cost of Freon rose by 300 percent. In just the last few months, the cost of R22 Freon has risen substantially and we expect the price to continue to rise in the coming months.
What does the rising cost of Freon mean for homeowners in the Coachella Valley?
If your current air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant and it requires more Freon, the cost of that repair is getting more and more expensive by the day. Because the phase-out of Freon is a federal requirement and the cost of the refrigerant continues to rise, we encourage homeowners to understand all of their options and take action as soon as possible.
What are the options homeowners have for replacing refrigerant?
- 1. Replace your cooling system. In order to use R410a (the newer, more efficient refrigerant), you must replace your cooling system’s outdoor and indoor units. This is the best option if your current cooling system is over 10 years old, but it’s also good for anyone who wants to use a refrigerant that’s more efficient and environmentally friendly. By replacing your cooling system now, you can begin using the significantly less expensive R410a and completely avoid the rising costs of Freon.
- 2. Replace R22 refrigerant with R-438A. This replacement process requires us to remove and recover the old refrigerant, replace the filter drier and access valves, vacuum the system and recharge it with new R-438A. This option is recommended on large repairs such as compressor or evaporator change-outs and major leak repairs where little or no Freon is left in the system.
- 3. Replenish R22. Finally, if your system doesn’t have a leak then you don’t need to worry because your current R22 Freon does not go bad with age. In addition, small refrigerant leak repairs (like Schrader valve leaks) can be repaired without the loss of Freon, which allows the existing Freon not to be wasted and only a small amount (a few pounds) of R22 is needed to complete the repair.
Trust Hyde’s with the servicing or installation of your cooling system
Regardless of which route you choose to take to deal with the Freon phase-out, your cooling system will require a repair that you’ll want performed by a company you can trust. By choosing Hyde’s for your installation or repair, you’ll know that the job will be done right the first time and avoid unnecessary expenses in the future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Hyde’s if you have any questions about the Freon phase-out. We are here to help you with your decision and make the transition to a new refrigerant as seamless and cost-effective as possible.