We often take air conditioners and their maintenance for granted until the heat of summer comes and we feel warm air blowing out of our vents. Pair that with the high humidity in Ohio and it can make for some uncomfortable living situations.
What is Freon?
Freon is a non-combustible gas that is used as a refrigerant (sometimes also called a coolant) in air conditioners. Through a repeated evaporation process, the Freon is responsible for creating the cool air that is circulated through your air conditioning system.
How do I know if my AC needs Freon?
Refrigerant is one of the main components responsible for the air blowing through your home being cool. If you are low on Freon, your AC may be blowing air that is warm or not as cool as you’d like it to be. Another issue that may happen if your AC is low on Freon is that it can freeze or have ice buildup. This doesn’t mean with 100% certainty that your AC is low on Freon, but it’s definitely likely! You shouldn’t need refrigerant refilled on a regular basis unless you have a Freon leak. In which case, continuous refills may not be the best solution long-term.
Freon Cost Per Pound
Freon costs fluctuate frequently and the type of refrigerant you have in your air conditioner also plays a big role in the cost as well as your location throughout the country.
In the Cincinnati, OH area, a lb of R22 refrigerant can cost you anywhere from $350-$450 per pound.
Due to EPA guidelines HVAC systems that utilize R22 are no longer being made, so this type of refrigerant is no longer being produced. Supply is limited and therefore the price is very high. These AC systems and their accompanying refrigerant stopped being produced in 2010. As years go on from there, the supply of R22 lessens and the cost increases each year.
R410A refrigerant, which is the main type being used in AC systems since 2010, is much cheaper and costs only about $200-$250 per pound to refill.
Each cooling company can decide what they’d like to charge for Freon, but these fairly average prices across the industry for southwest Ohio.
Total cost to refill refrigerant
The total price you will pay to get your system up and cooling again depends on the amount of Freon you need refilled. Your HVAC technician will be able to determine how many pounds of Freon you neeed recharged into your system. The prices discussed above were per pound. To get your AC back to blowing cool air you could need as little as half a pound or as much as even 7-10 lbs depending on the size of your system. Of course the bigger the recharge you need, the less cost effective it becomes versus replacing the AC unit entirely.
Is it safe to DIY a Freon recharge for your home AC?
The short answer is, no. Although recharging your car’s air conditioning can be a somewhat simple process, working with HVAC refrigerants is very dangerous. The EPA specifically recommends not replacing refrigerant yourself for a number of reasons, including both health and environmental issues. Anyone working with air conditioning refrigerant must be EPA licensed to legally reclaim or recharge Freon.
Freon recharge service for AC
If you’re near the Cincinnati area and you think your air conditioning system may need a refrigerant refill, give Quality Comfort a call at 513-620-4822 or book service online any time. If the HVAC technician diagnoses that you do need refrigerant, the Freon cost will be provided for your approval before performing any work.