NORTHWOOD, OH (Toledo News Now) – The main component in an air conditioning unit- Freon- has tripled in price, and that means it will cost three times as much to stay cool this summer.
"What happened was, the EPA told manufacturers of Freon, which is r22, they had to cut manufacturing by 45 percent this year. The EPA is in the process of phasing out Freon because it harms the ozone layer. They're replacing it with a environmentally friendly gas by 2020, and eventually requiring everyone to own a new air conditioner that utilizes the friendlier gas." said Chuck Westenbarger, the operations manager at Wojo's Heating and Air.
Regulations by the environmental protection agency are making freon harder to come by and more expensive, but experts say there is a way to avoid expensive repair costs.
A small tank used to cost manufacturers and suppliers $80 a few years ago. Today, 4 pounds worth of freon comes in at $400.
In turn, freon harder to come by and costs everyone- nearly triple what is use to.
"It was $45 for the first pound and $35 for each additional. Now it's $85 and $75. With a traditional ac unit holding five pounds of freon... To fully re-charge the unit- could cost a customer $385." Chuck explained.
Chuck says he and his workers are advising customers to make a more proactive approach by fixing leaks, rather than constantly re-charging your freon:
"Our guys have the equipment, electronic leak detectors where they can go through the entire system and pinpoint where that refrigerant is leaking at and sometimes it can be a simple fix, it takes them a half hour, sometimes the component has to be replaced- we don't know until we do that. But that is the best way to do it so that you're not throwing your money away, you get the leak repaired then you put the refrigerant in and you don't have to worry about it leaking back out."
Chuck says a lot of people will be turning their air conditioning units on for the first time in the coming weeks, he said it's best to just get it checked out right now- before you really need it to try and avoid those extra costs.