This is an update on the issue of the refrigerant Freon (R-22) being phased out, which we talked about several months ago. You can find that earlier blog here if you’re curious.
To sum up that article, Freon (R-22) is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The phaseout started about 25 years ago, but production of Freon is slowing and eventually no more will be made.
A lot of HVAC units still run on Freon, though, and lowering the supply without lowering the demand means that the price is going to continue to increase.
We anticipated having to stop using Freon as an air conditioner refrigerant within the next few years, because we don’t want to charge our customers enormous amounts of money simply to refill their refrigerant. (Freon costs about eight to ten times the amount it cost when I started in the industry.)
However, the price of Freon has increased even more dramatically than we expected, and we have placed our last order. We would not be able to offer fair prices to our customers with the rate that Freon’s market value is increasing, and we’re not willing to void anyone’s warranty, either, by using an unapproved refrigerant.
That comes to the difficult part: at some point, our customers and everyone else in the Oklahoma City area with an air conditioner that uses Freon will have to replace their equipment with equipment that runs on a different refrigerant.
Are there companies that will sell you Freon at an increasingly higher rate? Of course.
Are there other options of refrigerant you can use, if your air conditioner typically uses Freon? Technically, yes, but we represent three different manufacturers and doing that voids every one of their warranties. So that’s not something we do.
Can you find local companies who will put cheaper refrigerant in your air conditioning unit, at the risk of voiding your warranty? Again, of course you can.
At some point, though, even companies who are willing to bend the rules will find that Freon simply isn’t available.
Our goal in this is simply to make you aware, as a consumer, of the way that the market is going to be changing in the next few years. At some point, it will probably be necessary to replace your air conditioning equipment. That’s a given anyways, since HVAC systems do tend to wear out.
But the escalated expense of Freon and the decreasing availability means that it might make sense to replace your unit before it completely wears out, to avoid paying unnecessarily high costs for refrigerant or voiding your warranty.
How you choose to address the issue is up to you, but we think it’s fair that you as a consumer have some insight on this industry change that will directly affect you and your family.