The most common refrigerant used to transfer temperature in air conditioners is R-22. It helps cool homes all over the world, but its days are numbered due to a government effort to stop it from being manufactured. In turn, the price of R-22 has risen to over $100 a pound. What once was a simple AC repair is now a very expensive proposition reaching into the hundreds of dollars. Discover why you may be better off switching over to a new AC system before repair costs catch you off guard.
Freon Shortage Spikes the Price of AC Repairs
In 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) realized that R-22, a.k.a. Freon, harms the ozone layer when released into the air. They made a plan to slowly take it off the market by the year 2020 by stopping manufacturers from producing it. Today, the cost of Freon has nearly tripled in price due to shortages. With the majority of air conditioners using Freon, the price of repairs has increased substantially. Consumers are now beginning to evaluate whether the cost of repairing an AC unit is even worth it. That’s because the price of Freon will only keep going up as the EPA deadline draws closer. Instead, people are beginning to make the switch to air conditioners using Puron (R-410A).
Freon Leaks: Can’t You Simply Fill the AC with Puron?
Many consumers have a very logical train of thought. If their current air conditioning system uses Freon, then simply refill it with Puron. Unfortunately, Puron doesn’t match the same chemical properties as Freon. It operates at a much higher pressure. If you were to simply remove the Freon and fill the unit with Puron, it will most certainly cause damage.
Homeowners who previously experienced Freon leaks are now becoming alarmed at the shortage of Freon. Naturally, they want the least expensive option available to them. It’s technically possible to convert an old system by upgrading major components to handle Puron. However, the cost of labor is very high. Likewise, few manufacturers are willing to warranty any type of conversion because of the dangers. Overall, you’re still better off purchasing a unit engineered for Puron from the factory.
Puron AC Installation Benefits
By installing a new air conditioning system with R-410A, you’ll enjoy these benefits:
- Rebates & Deductions – While the government is working to remove Freon, they also want to reward those who choose energy efficient systems running Puron. You can take a deduction on your federal tax. Likewise, many city governments offer tax credits toward property tax.
- Going Green – With Puron, there is absolutely zero risk of harming the ozone layer. You can feel better knowing your AC is environmentally friendly.
- Lower Your Energy Bill – As mentioned before, Puron runs at a higher pressure. The advantage is that it converts temperature better. Therefore, you condition more air at a lower cost. You’ll see the difference in your monthly energy bills.
- Upkeep & Maintenance is Cheaper – Those running systems using Freon are in for some major repair bills. By switching to Puron, you’ll pay a fraction of the cost for repairs.
When to Switch to a New Puron System
In general, most air conditioning systems last between 10 and 15 years, longer with annual maintenance. If your system is older than 10 years, then you’ll likely benefit from just the efficiency improvements alone. Today’s technology requires far less electricity, and you’ll see the difference in your energy bill. The EPA says the average home spends 46% of their energy bill on air conditioning. However, you can be sure those numbers are much higher in the heat of Texas.
If You’ve Recently Purchased a System Using R-22 Freon:
Those who have older systems can justify the purchase of a newer Puron unit. However, there is a middle ground where some people have recently bought a system still using R-22. It’s fairly new, and they don’t want to spend money to upgrade again so soon. If that’s the case, then your best course of action is to avoid Freon leaks. Instead of waiting for something to break before calling for help, schedule your system to receive regular preventative maintenance every spring and fall. Tune-ups cost far less than emergency repairs, and you’ll catch problems early before the Freon has a chance to leak out.
If you’ll be enjoying a significantly reduced energy bill, then that’s extra cash that can go toward financing a new system. Some people choose to also place the purchase on a credit card or a combination of both. In either case, realize that you may be spending too much on electricity and repairs already. Cutting out these costs makes up for the monthly payment to finance a new Puron-based system. It can literally pay for itself.
Air Specialist – A Houston Air Conditioning Contractor
For over 40 years, Air Specialist has been serving the greater Houston, TX area. Our HVAC technicians are certified to work with and handle both Freon and Puron. We offer annual maintenance agreements and tune-ups. Likewise, we carry out AC installation for new systems using Puron, R-410A. Call us today to schedule a free estimate.