Why Is It So Expensive to Add Coolant to Your Home AC Unit?

There may be any number of different issues that we need to face when we own our own home. Some of them may be handled by a person with some serious DIY skills but others are going to require the assistance of a professional. If you are having a problem with your AC unit, you likely need to call a technician to come out to assess the situation and then to correct the problem for you. The problem is, it can be one of the more expensive home repairs you may face, and it may come up without warning.

Admittedly, there is much about the air conditioning or HVAC system that can cost an arm and a leg. If you have to have the compressor replaced, for example, you may be looking at a bill that could run in the thousands. The same is also true if you are having some serious problems elsewhere in the system. What takes many people by surprise, however, is the price of recharging the AC unit and adding some Freon. Why is this so expensive?

More than likely, you are asking yourself about the price you pay for recharging the AC unit because you have recently had it done. Perhaps you remember back a few decades ago when it was a simple matter to call someone and have them come out to recharge the unit. It seemed as if it was almost one of the least expensive repair bills, but now, you will end up spending a lot more money. The reason why that is the case is not quite as simple as most people imagine. It actually has a lot to do with what could happen if it were done improperly.

First of all, it’s important to understand a little bit more behind the gas that is known as Freon. This refrigerant, which is also known as R-22 is a component of many air-conditioning and cooling systems in the United States and throughout the world. It takes the humidity and heat from the air and absorbs it, so your home is a lot more comfortable on the inside. There is no doubt that this is somewhat of a miracle gas when it comes to its cooling properties. It doesn’t have any taste or odor and it has been used for many years as the primary source of coolant in air conditioning units.

There’s only one problem with Freon, and that is the fact that it is not good for the environment. In fact, you may have heard about one of the larger environmental issues that we are now dealing with, the hole in the ozone layer. Although there may be any number of different issues that can lead to that problem, it is actually Freon that is paving the way in many cases. It doesn’t share the burden of guilt alone, however, but it certainly can have that effect and it is one that could make it difficult for life to exist on earth.

As a result of the environmental damage that can occur from the use of Freon, many developing countries have decided to cut back on the amount of Freon that is being used. This really started back in 2004 when many of those countries decided that they were going to cut the use of Freon substantially. In the United States, it was originally a 35% drop but eventually, it was a 75% drop by 2010 and then by 2015, 90%. That is a substantial reduction in Freon and it required that the entire air-conditioning industry was overhauled.

The real issue and perhaps the one that drives the price up of Freon more than any other is the fact that we aren’t really supposed to be using it any longer but there are still many units in existence that use it. It is impossible to completely eliminate the use of Freon as long as it is actively being used in those units. Eventually, they will be phased out completely but until that occurs, it is unlikely that this refrigerant gas is going to go away completely.

So, the high price that you pay for recharging your air-conditioning at home is a matter of supply and demand. When you have a unit that is leaking Freon into the atmosphere, you can have somebody come out and replace the Freon by pumping it into the system. Unless that leak is repaired, however, it is simply going to continue to leak out and cause a potential for further damage to the ozone and the environment.

Although it is being phased out aggressively, Freon is still under production so the supply is still trickling in. It is not being produced in mass quantities as it was before, however, so the price of producing it and putting it out to market has increased substantially. The amount of Freon that is available to AC technicians is substantially reduced and they are paying more for it. In order to ensure that they are profitable in their business, that price is passed on to the consumer. It really is that simple.

Eventually, Freon will not be available in the United States. The only way that you will be able to get it is from old air-conditioning systems or refrigerators that have been taken out of commission and the gas has been reclaimed. As you can imagine, the price that you are going to pay for this refrigerant gas at that time is going to be a lot higher than it is today. That is why it is so important for you to consider the use of refrigerant and the AC unit you have at home.

If you really want to avoid the high price of Freon, you can purchase a new air-conditioning unit. This will stop the leakage of gas and the use of Freon at your home altogether. It may be an expense for the short term but in the long term, it is going to pay for itself many times over. Learn more about bluon here.


Full Home Improvement by Xohaib