In advance of the summer, I feel compelled to forewarn our current and prospective customers about the continued skyrocketing costs of R22 refrigerant as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates.
The Montreal Protocol which was adopted by the EPA has already phased out production of R22 based air conditioning equipment in 2010, and is charged with fully phasing out new production of freon by 2020. Nevertheless, an estimated 70 million freon based systems are still in operation, some of which will require additional refrigerant to operate properly this summer.
If your system is one of the unlucky ones that requires additional refrigerant, strap in, because you’re about to feel the impact of an estimated 30% reduction in supply (down to a total of 39 million pounds) mandated by the EPA. To put it all in perspective, that’s down from 55 million pounds in 2012, 100 million in 2011, and all the way back to 1999 when around 300 million pounds were being produced. That production deficit, has meant an over 100% increase in cost for a jug of 30 pounds, the quantity most heating and cooling companies are purchasing from suppliers.
And, unfortunately, while basic economics escapes some decision makers at the highest levels, the reality is that as costs double, prices to consumers will likely double as a result. Informal surveys inside the industry put the average cost per pound of R22 in 2012 at a range of $75 – $125. With that price doubling and many refrigerant leaks requiring as much as 3-4 pounds, you are getting into a price that should prompt you to consider replacement of your air conditioning system.
Have more questions about the R22 phase out, pricing, or what you should do with your air conditioning, give us a call (317.670.0171), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet (@TrustHomesense).