Most homeowners know very little about the air conditioning system in their house. And that’s okay (that’s why we’re here). But in our experience of servicing Atlanta-area homes, we get a lot of questions from homeowners who are curious. And we love that! We’re happy to share what we know. So here’s the answers to the most common questions we get about refrigerant (or Freon, as many people call it). If you don’t see your questions answered here, ask us!

What is Freon? Freon is a brand name of air conditioning refrigerant trademarked by DuPont. So you definitely have refrigerant in your air conditioner, but you may or may not have the brand Freon. However, Freon has become synonymous with the word “refrigerant” similar to how the brand name “Kleenex” is synonymous with “tissues”.

How often should I replace the refrigerant in my AC system? The short answer is never. Refrigerant is not used up like gas in your car. It’s in a closed system and simply circulates around your air conditioner over and over again. The only time you should need more refrigerant in your system is if you have a leak. So if an air conditioning company tells you that you need more refrigerant, they should also be looking for a leak. Otherwise, you could be in the same situation in a few weeks. Refilling your air conditioner with refrigerant without fixing a leak is like filling up a flat tire with air without fixing the leak.

How do I know if I need more refrigerant in my air conditioner? See the question above. If properly maintained, you shouldn’t need more refrigerant in your air conditioner – unless there’s a leak. If there is a leak, there are some signs that you need more refrigerant.

How much does the refrigerant cost? This question is difficult to answer as it varies wildly depending on the type of refrigerant you have and the time of year. For example, if you have R-22 refrigerant in your air conditioner and it’s the middle of the summer, the price is going to be quite high because:

  • R-22 is being phased out so demand has risen
  • In the summer, when people use their AC the most, the demand is higher

As a rough estimate, refrigerant can cost between $150 and $275 per pound.

I heard Freon is being phased out, what’s replacing it? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a phase out of the most common type of air conditioning refrigerant – R-22. By 2020, no more R-22 will be produced. So if you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, it may be best to look for an air conditioner that uses a different type of refrigerant. The EPA has approved R-410A as a replacement refrigerant. For more on the phase out, check out this article by the EPA.

Do I need to convert my existing R-22 air conditioner to something else? No. If you already have an air conditioner that uses R-22 refrigerant, there’s no need to convert it to use another type of refrigerant. Even with the limited production of R-22, there should be plenty of refrigerant to service your air conditioner until you need a new one.

Have any other questions? Have a question we didn’t answer here? Go ahead and ask us, and we’ll be happy to help! Ragsdale provides air conditioning services to homeowners throughout the metro Atlanta area. For more information on us or our services, contact us online.

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