About the price increase, see here:As of April 26, 2013, R22 has drastically increased in price for
the industry, if you you're lucky, you can work with your A/C tech
and he'll sell it to you wholesale if there's labor work involved
in the sale. It's still going to run you $80/lb and even a small
system is gonna set you back $500.
February 15th, 2013
R-22 refrigerant (freon) price Increases in 2013
The price of R-22 refrigerant has skyrocketed in the last 6 months. Due
to government regulations to “phase out” the production of “ozone
depleting” chemicals like Freon, production has continued to decrease
and has costs to skyrocket. R-22 refrigerant is 4 times more expensive
than it was just 6 months ago and is expected to continue to climb.
Due to this, contractors have bought it at an alarming rate and supplies
are greatly reduced. “Panic Buying” have forced some vendors across the
country to limit the amount of R-22 contractors can purchase in a month.
As the cost of R-22 rises, the cost of the new replacement Freon, R410a
continues to drop. It is a simple case of supply and demand.
Federal regulations call for a 90% reduction of production of R-22 by
2015 and to be completely obsolete by 2020. What this means to consumers
is outrages Freon related repair costs and eventually no choice but to
replace their HVAC equipment.
Most air conditioners manufactured before 2010 us the old R-22
While a R-410a unit can just as easily develop a leak as an R-22 unit
can, from vibration, rust, stress cracks our sub-par welds etc., without
warning, the cost to replace R-410a is a fraction of R-22.
I thought that R-22 was more efficient than R134 or R410 (less of a loadJon said:Continuing to operate an old R-22 air conditioner is fiscally
foolish when you realize that the new 18 SEER units use half
on the compressor to achieve the same heat-transfer effect).
In any case, it's looking more and more that home owners are going the
DIY route by recharging their leaking home R22 units with propane (and I
know that you so-called pro's in alt.hvac will just love it when that
And I don't see why not, given that the auto-ignition temp. of these
refrigeration-grade propane mixes is higher than R134 and R410, and from
an electrical energy usage standpoint, using propane seems to cut that
down by 40%.
What I don't really understand is the safety hazzard issue of using
If you have a small leak (the sort of leak that is typical in an HVAC
system) it's going to take days or weeks for the system to de-pressurize
to ambient pressure, and the relatively small amount of propane in the
system is going to dissapate in the typical home during that time (if
the leak is inside the house).
If you have a furnace malfunction (blower-motor burn-out, fan-belt
breaks, over-heat cut-off malfunction) then again would you ever have a
condition where a run-away plenum temperature would bake the evap coil
to the point of combustion?
Could you get combustion happening *inside* the compressor due to some
sort of mechanical compressor malfunction?
Some sort of accidental dammage to AC lines (either inside or outside
the house) could release all of the propane within minutes or seconds -
is this the combustion hazzard that the HVAC industry / gov't is worried
about? Is this the only practical safety issue with using propane for
home A/C recharging?