Expensive changes could be coming if you own older AC system

Published: Jul. 9, 2019 at 11:45 PM CDT
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With heat indexes jumping into the triple digits this week,air conditioners across Kansas are running high. If you have an old system, you could see some expensive changes in the near future because you soon won't be able to buy a certain type of Freon in the U.S.

This time next year, Johnny Combs with Hanna Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. says homeowners could see the changes to what's keeping their homes cool.

He says a switch has been in the works for years and the old Freon is being phased out because of what it does to the ozone layer.

Currently, the R-22 Freon is cooling a lot of homes across Wichita, but come January 1, 2020, manufacturing for it will stop. Combs says if you want to keep from breaking the bank, it's best to make the switch now, even if it costs more up front.

He says with the expected increase in cost of $80 to $120 per pound for the R-22, the average Freon service call might cost somewhere between $350 and $450. That number could increase, potentially tripling in the next few years, Combs says.

He says he's been talking with homeowners about their options since the new 410-A Freon was made. He says most people think you need to replace the entire air-conditioning unit, but that's not the case as homeowners do have choices. He says you can likely get by by changing the condenser outside the AC unit and the evaporating coil.

For those who choose to keep the R-22 Freon, Combs says you can still purchase it and have it installed until it is gone.

"It's going to run out pretty quick" he says. "I don't know how long it will be, but I don't see it staying very long."