NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - These hot temperatures have us all blasting the air conditioning, but a popular coolant that will soon be discontinued could cost you more to stay cool.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020 Freon will no longer be manufactured.
With temperatures near 90 degrees this week, Lynn and Peggy Stubblefield are trying to stay cool. They knew there was a problem when they walked in the door from being out of town on vacation.
“It was muggy, it was hot. It was uncomfortable,” said Lynn Stubblefield.
They were in for a double whammy!
Their air conditioner was broken and the coolant they use, R22 also known as Freon will soon become illegal.
“The R22 that's in your system is being phased out,” said Michael Crook who is a Senior Project Manager with Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it's become too harmful for the environment and the chemicals in it are hurting the earth’s ozone layer.
The reality is most older units in older homes use freon. But if you can't afford a new AC unit right now, you can do nothing and wait until it needs to be repaired or convert your unit so it can use another coolant.
The price of a new air conditioning unit costs the average homeowner around $7,500.
Repairs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on what's wrong.
“This is an expense most homeowners aren't expecting,” said Crook.
Currently, you can still get Freon and use it to fix your broken system. Cooling experts said the closer we get to Jan. 1, the more expensive those repairs will get.
Here's what you can do now to prepare for it.
Get your system checked out now. Twice a year is what's recommended. Make any needed repairs now and if it needs Freon, get it now before the price goes up.
“These units are going to go up, you can count on that,” said Stubblefield.
The Stubblefields decided to bite the bullet and buy a new unit. The price? $10,000.
"$10,000 is not something we spend every day,” said Stubblefield.
Their advice for other homeowners is to have your air conditioner looked at now. And if takes Freon, get it fixed before prices go up.
The phase out of Freon actually began in 2010. That’s when the EPA first banned companies from manufacturing and installing units that only took Freon.
Beginning Jan. 1, you'll still be able to get Freon, but only until it runs out.
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