Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It may be hard to keep your cool when you hear just how much it’ll cost you to repair your air conditioning if it breaks this summer.
Just as the weather gets really warm, the cost of Freon is up as much as 300 percent. That’s because the government wants to phase it out to protect the environment.
The dwindling supply of Freon is causing many to say goodbye to their old units.
“This component right here is called a compressor. This is the heart of the air conditioner that pumps the refrigerant throughout the system,” said Sedgwick technician Kevin Nance.
In most homes, that refrigerant being pumped is Freon.
“It takes the heat out of the house basically, and pumps it back into the condenser,” Nance said.
He said think of Freon or R-22 as the anti-freeze in your car.
“The price of R-22 has literally tripled in price in the last year, and they’re also limiting the amount of jugs of refrigerant you can buy from the manufacturer,” Nance said.
With less available and a big price bump, sales managers at Sedgwick say they had no choice but to raise repair costs.
“It went up about 30 percent for Freon or R-22,” said sales manager Ken Evenstad.
Rather than keep up with repair costs, many are choosing to buy new more energy efficient units that use a refrigerant called 401A.
Sedgwick says they can’t keep up with the demand for units with the new refrigerant.
In 2020, manufacturers will stop making Freon all together.
The government offers incentives to homeowners who replace old units with more energy efficient ones: including tax credits and rebates.
For more information, visit http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/financing/eip_mn.html.