Why Does R-22 Refrigerant Cost So Much?
R-22 Refrigerant: A Necessary Cost
Out with the Old in with the New!
According to the EPA, refrigerant is damaging to the environment. Because of this, the price of ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant, which is used in many older air conditioning systems, has risen as much as 500%—and we don’t know how high it might go. These are direct costs that we have to pay and we have no choice but to pass those costs along, which is why your refrigerant may cost more now than during previous service calls.
The U.S. EPA controls how much R-22 can be produced and imported each year through annual allocations. For the last two years the agency has reduced the supply in the hopes of increasing the price of R-22 in order to encourage higher recycling and reclamation rates. This policy, along with a delay in setting permanent allocations for the future, created uncertainty in the marketplace and forced the manufacturers to increase their prices.
The EPA reduced the annual allocation of R-22 in 2012 by about 45% with a short term, temporary allocation. In March of 2013, the EPA finalized the allocations for 2013 and 2014 with an additional overall reduction of 7%. These allocation reductions will continue until 2020 when the production of virgin R-22 will cease. As a professional contractor, our goal is to provide you with the best possible products and services at the best possible value. Unfortunately, we have no control over the cost of a commodity like R-22 refrigerant.