Sticker shock: Price of Freon soars amid summer heat wave

- With high temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes hovering around 100 degrees, everyone is looking for a way to cool off. While some may opt to head outdoors to the nearest pool, others may stay inside and crank up the A/C.

But, what if your air conditioning stops working? Even worse, what if you find out that the Freon your air conditioning unit needs has now tripled in price? Unfortunately, that’s the shocking reality this year as the price of Freon for air conditioning units installed before 2005 has now tripled in price.

The main refrigerant required for air conditioning units, R-22, was found to be harmful to the ozone layer by the Environmental Protection Agency back in 1995. In 2005, the EPA established guidelines that required all new air conditioning units to use a new refrigerant with less of an environmental impact called 410-A. These steps were put in place in order to phase out the use of the harmful Freon. However, there are still many functioning units that use R-22 making the phase-out an ongoing process.

The price hike and decreasing production of R-22 will make future repairs of older air conditioning units very difficult and costly.

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