Refrigerant is like the lifeblood of your air conditioning unit—it’s what absorbs heat from the air inside your home and carries it outside to help your house cool and comfortable all summer long.
But there are different types of refrigerant, and if the cooling unit in your tri-county home uses R22—also called freon— and you have a leak, you may find that the cost of replacing your refrigerant is very expensive! Today we’re going to explain why that is, and what your best next steps should be.
Here’s Why R22 Freon Is So Expensive
Freon was once widely used in air conditioners found in homes and businesses across the United States. But starting in 2020, freon became illegal to produce or import into the country. This is because the gas was found to be contributing to climate change by thinning the ozone layer.
The EPA had begun phasing out freon long before 2020, so if your air conditioning unit is less than 10 years old, it’s unlikely that it uses R22 refrigerant. If you do have an older unit, it’s not illegal to continue using it, even if it does contain old refrigerant. But because supply is growing more and more limited by the day, if you need to replace R22 refrigerant due to a leak, it will come with a high price tag.
What Refrigerant Replaces R22?
There is a new, widely-adopted alternative gas to freon called R410-A, which doesn’t deplete the ozone layer. But unfortunately, you can’t just switch out the refrigerants—there are a number of parts inside your AC that would need to be replaced as well, like your coil, which can cost $3,000 alone to swap out! That’s not an affordable solution, especially given the age of your unit.
Why New Air Conditioning Replacement Is the Best Alternative
If your AC unit uses freon but doesn’t have a leak or need repairs, it’s okay to continue using it. But if you need to replace your system’s refrigerant now, new air conditioning installation is your smartest option. Here’s why:
- New AC units use R410-A refrigerant
- The cost of converting your old AC unit to use R410-A would be a significant part of the cost of a new unit
- Refrigerant issues aside, older units will need more frequent repairs anyways, costing you money
- A new AC unit will provide reliable operation for years to come if well-maintained
- Newer AC units are more energy-efficient, saving you money on electricity costs
At Bovio Rubino Service, our team of HVAC service professionals can help you make the right decision when it comes to your home’s heating and cooling equipment. Since 1974, we’ve been helping Jersey homeowners make the right financial decision when it comes to their homes, including new air conditioner installation or even heat pump or ductless mini split upgrades, which can both heat and cool your home using a fraction of the energy needed for traditional HVAC systems.