Freon costs continue to rise

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - R-22, or the brand name Freon, depletes the ozone. That's why the EPA is phasing it out and replacing it with a new more environmentally friendly refrigerant.

As the supply of R-22 dwindles, homeowners are paying more to replace lost fluid. Angie's List recently contacted HVAC companies around the country and found a huge fluctuation in prices - from $40 a pound to $125 a pound.

Angie's List says it's important for consumers to be aggressive in checking prices for their area. Don't take a high price at face value. Always get three estimates and ask if there will be any additional costs.

Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List, explained, "When talking to the repair company about adding more Freon, be sure you understand the cost completely. Is it a standard price per pound? Are there any additional charges? Also, does the price go down the more pounds you actually buy?"

Information on how much R-22 your unit needs should be labeled on the unit. If your A/C unit was manufactured before January 2010, it most likely uses R-22.

When it comes to repairing or replacing your unit, Angie's List says you should use the rule of five thousand. Multiply the age of your unit by the cost of repair. If it's higher than $5,000, you should get a newer unit that won't need R-22.

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