Angie's List: Fixing AC coolant leaks

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by Jon Sasser

wfaa.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 7:29 AM

If your air conditioner is not cooling as well as it should, it may just need coolant. But the cost for fixing a coolant leak could leave you in shock.

In the late 80's, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the phasing out of the ozone-depleting refrigerant R-22, commonly called "Freon".

It will be virtually phased out by 2015 and obsolete by 2020. A-C's manufactured before 2010 use the coolant.

The new EPA-approved coolant does not work with older model A-C's and that's where the costs start adding up.

"For a homeowner who for many years may have a small leak in their systems and just have us come out in the spring or summer and top it off with a pound or two. Well back in the day that might have run them a couple of hundred dollars. And with today's prices of R22, it may be $500 to $600", says HVAC contractor Larry Howald.

Some manufacturers have gone around EPA guidelines by producing units that use the old coolant but don't come charged with it.

For more information on this and other consumer-related stories, log on to www.angieslist.com.

 

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