Help! It’s hot and you have no AC!
If your AC unit isn’t working properly, it could be from low coolant levels. The refrigerant used in air conditioners is Freon, a potentially harmful gas. An HVAC technician is required to conduct Freon refills to avoid any of the gas getting into the atmosphere.
So, how much does a technician charge to recharge an AC unit? Continue reading to find out the average cost and the variables that come into play.
How to Recharge an AC Unit
Recharging your AC involves replacing the old coolant with new coolant. Freon R-22 and R-140A are hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). HCFCs are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals released by smoking cigarettes and burning fuel.
Even short-term exposure is harmful and if it rises into the atmosphere it will damage the ozone layer. A Freon leak will decrease our planet’s protection from UV rays. Global warming worsens this way and it’s easier to get skin cancer.
Because of the danger of handling Freon, a professional HVAC technician has to contain the old coolant without any leaks and safely transport it. It’s a law set by the EPA. This job can’t be done by just anyone.
A recharge is usually done even if there’s a small leak. The technician can solder where the coolant is leaking and put in new coolant. Larger leaks mean replacing parts of your AC or replacing the whole unit.
Cost and Variables
The cost of recharging an AC unit has risen and will only keep rising. Many governments around the world have stopped using R-22 because of its toxicity to people and the environment. Very low production of the gas has boosted prices.
By January 2020, R-22 production will be completely shut down. To recharge your AC with Freon R-22, it could cost you anywhere from $350 to almost $1,500! R-22 can be more than $50 per pound.
Freon R-410A is a less toxic compound than R-22 and has been exempt from the EPA’s ozone-depleting chemical phase-out procedure. Prices for R-140A are more affordable as production hasn’t been cut. Expect to pay around $4 to $6 per pound of R-140A, which doesn’t include labor costs.
A technician determines the number of pounds of refrigerant from the unit’s tonnage. Generally, a one-ton AC requires two to four pounds of refrigerant.
That’s $16 to $24 for four pounds of R-140A. HVAC technicians often charge between $25 to $75 per pound. It depends on the company you choose.
You should consider replacing any units that use R-22 with ones that use R-140A. You’ll save a lot of money and help the environment.
The cost of the recharge will increase if the technician thinks there could be a Freon leak. They’ll have to inspect the system and make any necessary repairs. You may have to buy replacement parts.
An R-140A Recharge Is Affordable
People who own units that use R-140A don’t have to pay a ton for a recharge. Plus, you only need to recharge an AC unit when the air feels less cool than usual. Coolant should last for years.
Be aware of scamming technicians. There is no regular schedule for a coolant replacement because it runs through a loop and doesn’t escape like car exhaust.
Pay attention if the technician says your unit doesn’t have a lot of coolant in it. They should mention if there is a leak and then repair the leak. If they don’t, the new refrigerant will also leak out and you’ll have to spend even more money.
Use this guide to estimate how much a Freon recharge will cost. Don’t hesitate to fill out a contact form or call us at 405-501-3871!