Have you turned on your AC yet?

Can you believe this heat already – well not today, but in March? I don’t know about you, but I sure hate turning on my air when I just turned off my heat. However, every year around this time in Benton County, we all start to use our air conditioning units – or at least thinking about it. Sometimes we forget how much money it costs to run and keep one up and there is another cost that could affect you this year and the next.

Is your air conditioning unit more than two years old?

If so you may be in for a big surprise. If you have a unit that is more than two years old it uses what is called R-22, a refrigerant used to recharge your air conditioning.  R- 22 is currently being phased out and the prices have sky rocketed.  If you have an AC unit that was manufactured in 2011 or later, they use what is called, R-410A, which is what EPA will be enforcing us to use by 2030.

The price of R-22 per tank has gone up about 45% in the last year, from around $180 to $400.

Over the next several years the EPA will be slowly getting rid of R-22 and by 2030 the production of R-22 should be non-existent. R-22 eats away at the earth’s ozone layer.  Currently, there are limited supplies of R-22 and with the small amount of supply the prices are going to go up. Until you replace your current AC unit with a new unit that uses R-410A, the prices are going to continue upward. Each year, there will be less supply of R-22 in use.

The shortage is costly, but it’s best for our environment. If your unit already has a leak, the AC repair man may decide not to refill it. If you haven’t considered it yet, you may now have to consider upgrading to a new AC unit containing R-410A.

So, let’s say your unit has a leak, there are only two things to consider:

Should you recharge or replace? 

For every year you stay in your home, that’s another year you must recharge your leaky central air system. Not only will it be costly to replace the R-22 every year, but each year it’s leaking more hazardous material into our atmosphere. This is not good for you or the environment.

If you do choose to replace, purchasing an Energy Star unit may be much more efficient to run and cool your home more evenly. Your local power company may have additional incentives to upgrade, too, making it a better choice in the long run.

It’s going to be a long hot summer … now it the time to think about it.

For more details. http://www.houselogic.com/blog/heating-cooling/recharge-air-conditioning/#ixzz1pnro0uVm