Rising Freon costs will make air conditioner repairs more expensive

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The constant hum of air conditioners and fans propped up in windows is a sign people are trying to cool down from hotter than normal days this summer.

Right now is a busy time for air conditioning technicians. Darrin Lawhorn with Westside Heating and Cooling said his phone as been ringing off the hook.

"We're probably anywhere about 9 calls a day. I'm sure," he said.

The calls rang from a refrigerant leak, to a blown fuse a standard problem many deal with when their HVAC system ages.

What used to cost a couple hundred to fix may now cost a couple thousand because of the price of Freon, also known as R22.

"The prices are going through the roof and quite frankly all the equipment is phased out you can't even get a system that utilized the old type of refrigerant," said Lawhorn.

The EPA has prohibited Freon production by 2020 so manufacturers have switched to Pureon also known as 410 A, which is more environmentally friendly.

"In some repairs with the old system doing three repairs you can pay for your system." Lawson said the new HVAC Systems starts at $2,800.

However, there are things you can do to preserve your current system.

Outside your home use a garden hose to spray dirt off the air conditioner's coils.

"If the coils clog up with dirt it can't circulate air," Lawson said.

Also, change the filters in your home every 30 days.

Lawhorn said HVAC system are only expected to last around 10 years and getting your air conditioner checked every year will keep more money in your pockets.

"People don't see us until they are completely out of refrigerant and they're buying substantial amounts of refrigerant where if they see me more often they buy smaller amounts their air conditioners will work better. Their utility bills would be cheaper," he said.

Lawhorn said if you have an older system and you the repairs starting ranging above $600 it's time to invest in a new air conditioner.

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