Freon refrigerant to become more expensive as it is phased out

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Consumers may be shelling out more money for refrigerant soon, depending on which type they get, because one type will no longer be produced after next year.

R22 refrigerant (KMVT image)

R-22, the refrigerant also known Freon, will be getting more expensive. R-22 is often used in air conditioning equipment, however the Environmental Protection Agency said that specific refrigerant depletes the ozone layer.

"The cost of R-22 is somewhere between $75 to $100 a pound, where the cost of R410A, which is the replacement that we use, is $30 a pound," said Dan Brizee, the president of Brizee heating. "Not being able to get it is one thing, but having to pay for it is another thing. It’s a surprise to a lot of people."

In 2020, R-22 will no longer be made or imported, so after that year, only recovered and recycled supplies will be available.

"What that causes people to do is really assess 'Is it time for us to change out our heating and cooling system and go to a different type of refrigerant?'" he said.

The other common alternative is the R-410A, which is a more environmentally-friendly type of refrigerant.

"I think they just need to really assess the age of their heating and air conditioning equipment," he said on what consumers should do. "How long the life of the average piece of equipment is and we tell people on average it's 15 years. So if your equipment is older than 15 years, we recommend that you don't put anymore R-22 in, and we recommend people to put in the R-410A."

So does this mean a consumer might have to shell out more money? Possibly.

"Just be smart and get prices both ways so that you know what you’re getting yourself into," he said.

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