Why is R-22 Refrigerant so Expensive for Austin Home Owners?

Why Does R-22 Really Cost So Much? R-22 is a hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and the most common refrigerant in AC systems

R-22 is a Back in the 1970’s the EPA determined that R-22 / Freon had a negative effect on the ozone layer of our atmosphere.  These effects includes:

  • Harmful UV radiation into our atmosphere,
  • Increased temperatures on earth,
  • Increased sun damage to humans
  • Links to skin cancer.

The plan to phase it out dates back to the late 1980’s, with a decrease amount of supplies allowed in the United States.  On January 1, 2020, R-22 will no longer allow to be imported or manufactured in the US.  However, one consequence of this phase-out means the cost to recharge your AC system in Austin and the rest of the country with more R-22 will continue to grow exponentially.

What Will Happen to Homeowners Without R-22?

If you find your AC blowing warm air, or ice on the refrigerant lines, do not fret as you have a few options.

  • tools for measuring AC System levels and pressureUpgrading Your AC System to a New Refrigerant, R-410A – Though this cost is more significate than an AC system repair, there are benefits to upgrading.  Systems designed for R-410A are more energy efficient and have been shown to have up to a 40% higher cooling capacity compared to R-22.  R-410A also uses synthetic oil, as compared to R-22 that uses mineral oil.  The synthetic oil allows the system to operate more efficiently reducing wear and tear on the compressor.  These new systems have longer warranties and can help lower your electric bills.


  • Use of Reclaimed R-22. As of today, we are still able to recharge your AC system with R-22.  Refrigerant companies are reclaiming old R-22.  Reclaiming entails filtering, drying, distillation and is chemically processed that remove impurities.  The cost associated with the reclaiming process will unfortunately keep R-22 pricing on an upward trend.  However, in a pinch, having the option to recharge your system will allow you and your family a little relief in the summer heat and get you by until it leaks out again.


Do not Get Stuck in the Austin Heat without Refrigerant  

Family Talking to AC TechnicianThe cost of R-22 has been increasing over the last decade.  With the phase out quickly approaching, the cost will keep rising, as R-22 will become much scarcer.  The best thing to do if you have an is have an Austin, Texas licensed HVAC contractor like A-Plus Air Conditioning & Home Solutions perform a system check to make sure the system’s pressures are good, and that there are no leaks.  If your AC unit is low on Freon, it may be a good time to consider replacement it with a new 410A system.

If your AC is not blowing cool air, or if you want to be proactive before your unit gives out, give our office in Austin a call at 512-450-1980 to schedule an appointment.  We offer fast, 7 day a week service in the Austin area. We won’t leave you in the Texas heat.