Rising Costs of Maintaining Older A/C systems
As mechanical equipment ages, it goes without saying that repair costs can start to rise with the age of the equipment. This is especially apparent in the A/C industry. Currently, one of the fastest rising repair costs is directly related to the rising cost of Freon that your A/C system uses; R-22.
This refrigerant has been used in A/C systems for the past 40+ years. Needless to say, you can bet that if your unit is 10 years old or older there is a high probability that it uses R-22 Freon. Studies by the EPA have found that this chemical has wide ranging negative effects on our environment
Often times with an older system, a very common repair is the need to charge a system that may be low on Freon. Since the Freon that has always been used is now starting to be phased out, the cost of that Freon is rising exponentially. In response to these rising costs, manufacturers have started selling “drop-in” refrigerant as a cheaper alternative., specifically o-zone depletion. As a result of these findings, regulations have R-22 being phased out by 2020. Now, what does all this have to do with you, the homeowner?
These alternatives can be a quick fix in the short run, but can cause issues for your system long term. For example, the different Freon types use different pressure/temperature characteristics that can confuse the system software, giving inaccurate pressure and temperature readings. This can damage your A/C system and void the manufacturer’s warranty.
R-22 refrigerant can be reclaimed and recycled, but as the supply continues to be reduced, the cost will continue to rise. This leaves homeowners with an important choice; pay the rising cost for R-22 refrigerant to maintain your older system, or replace your system with a new air conditioning system that uses the more environmentally friendly refrigerant, R410A.
These newer systems offer greater efficiency, and quieter operation, which may prove to be a wiser investment when faced with repairing or replacing an older unit that uses R-22. However, fully replacing your system may not be the best option for you and your family. At Sharp Air Conditioning & Heating, we are committed to working with you to find the best option possible and consider the many factors in your life that lead to making these decisions. We are happy to answer any questions you may have on this topic and work with you to find the right solution.