New actions by the EPA, has caused the production of R-22 (Freon) to slow-down and limit supply. (1) This has caused several problems with regard to the servicing of your Heating and cooling system. First of all, you will see the cost of refrigerant triple almost immediately and in most cases push consumers replacement. Second, you will be solicited by companies to gain access to the maintenance or service of your heating and cooling system. Additionally, your cost of ownership will increase drastically for an R-22 system. In a matter of days, a $300 repair will jump to a $900 repair, and for that reason, most people will start to think about upgrading to a Puron system, (R410A). There are some things that you can do to help guard against costly repairs.
- Change your filter every thirty days.
- If a NATE certified HVAC contractor is not maintaining your system, then you need to switch to one immediately. NATE certified contractors are in the top 10% of service technicians, and are more up to date on trouble-shooting, servicing, and operation of heating and cooling systems.
- Write or call your congressman about the EPA rule “HCFC-22 Production and Consumption Allocation Rights”. This EPA rule is what is speeding-up the phase down of R-22.
- Buyers beware on replacement of single components, vs. total system replacement. In addition, some contractors may just want to replace the outdoor unit with a “Dry R-22 unit”. This is going to cost you more over time, instead of whole system replacement.
- If your system is over 7 years old and it’s an R-22, (Freon), system, then replacing the system to an R410a system (Puron), may be a good investment.
The EPA may ease these rules, and in 6-8 months we could see the price of refrigerant start to come down again, but for now conclusive.
By: Leon Granger 1/23/2012