Replacing air conditioning coolant is costly

Replacing AC coolant can get costly.

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WICHITA, Kansas— In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency decided a freon known as R-22 was depleting too much of the ozone.

It put restrictions in place to phase R-22 out of use and phase in a new alternative called 410-A.

“The advantage is the environment,” said Marty Hole of Frederick Plumbing and Heating. “The E.P.A. is telling us it’s much better.”

Better for slowing ozone depletion, but when it comes to global warming, even the E.P.A. website shows the new alternative is no better.

Hole says it’s the phase-out of  R-22 that’s hitting people in the pocketbook.

“The costs of R-22 have probably gone up three or four times since last year,” said Hole. “They’re supposed to phase it out totally by 2020.”

Your average homeowner paid around $18 – $20 per pound.

Today that’s more like $35 – $60 per pound.

If you own an older air conditioner, you have options.

“They are making drop-in replacements for the R-22, but the R-22 is such a good coolant, the replacements don’t cool as well,” said Hole.

He recommends upgrading your unit.

“I would say update.  Update to the newer 410 because that’s the direction the manufacturers are going.”

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