Because of government regulations meant to phase out ozone depleting chemicals such as Freon, the production rate is way down and the cost is way up. Right now, R-22 refrigerant is 4 times more expensive than it was in the fall and the price is continuing to climb. Low supplies have caused HVAC contractors to buy up as much as they can to save money and have it available for their customers who are still using it in their air conditioners. In fact, this stockpiling by some contractors has actually forced some vendors to start limiting how much a company can purchase. R-22 refrigerant will be completely obsolete by 2020.While the cost of R-22 refrigerant continues to rise, in contrast, the cost of the new freon replacement R410 is dropping. For consumers, this means that freon related repair costs will continue to rise . Eventually they will have no choice but to replace their air conditioning equipment using R-22 with equipment that uses R410 refrigerant. Most equipment manufactured before 2010 uses R-22.
If your system is getting older and is requiring repairs (especially due to refrigerant leaks), you should not replace it with a system that uses R-22 refrigerant. Instead, make sure you invest in a system that uses R410. Some manufactures do offer limited models of the R-22 units and are able to ship them without any refrigerant in them. This dry charged unit may appear cheaper initially, but very soon you will have to upgrade to an R410 system.
Only you can make the decision as to whether you want to repair or replace your system. But if you have an older unit with a refrigerant leak, consider the money you are spending on refrigerant that has a rising price verses putting that money toward a new high efficiency system that uses R410. A high efficiency ac unit will also save you money on your monthly utility bills.
If you have any questions or need further information about R-22 vs R410 and repair vs replacement please call MTB Heating and Air.
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