Federal regulations have turned what was a commonly available air conditioning system refrigerant into a scarce resource. And that may make a lot of homeowners sweat this summer.
Due to changes in regulations, the older models use a Freon that is not going to be available in a few years and because of that production of that Freon has reduced causing the price to go up. So if you have to replace the Freon in an older model you are likely going to pay more this year.
Consumers have reported spending two and three times the amount for a common type of refrigerant than in previous years.
HVAC Contractor Larry Howald says, “For a homeowner who for many years may have a small leak in their systems and just have us come out in the spring or summer and top it off with a pound or two- well back in the day that might have run them a couple of hundred dollars. And with today’s prices of R22, it may be $500 to $ 600.”
When you consult with your heating and cooling company ask them about the developments that are happening with the Freon and how long you’ll have to use your air conditioner because after a few years that Freon won’t be available at all anymore. They can help you time that purchase correctly and also help you to be able to understand how much you are going to save on your monthly bill by having a more efficient unit.
Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews , asked highly rated heating and cooling companies about these regulations.
There’s really not a lot a homeowner can do to prevent a leak. With an air conditioning system that sits outside in the wintertime when it gets extremely cold and then in the summertime it gets warm and then the unit operating with some vibration, maybe it gets hit by the lawnmower guy whose using a weed eater or whatever, all those things – just the expansion and contraction can create a leak and it’s pretty tough for a homeowner to do anything about it.101010
“If you are faced with a leaking air conditioner you might really want to consider if you should just go ahead and replace it. What many people don’t realize that your heating and cooling expenses represent about 50% of your energy bills so if your air conditioner is getting a little on the old side, maybe it’s 7, 8, 9 years old and you’ve got a repair you want to make sure repairing it is the best move,” Angie Hicks advises.
Angie’s List Tips: Options for homeowners
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