How much is R-22?

February 24, 2008

Here’s the deal.  In the post below, this homeowner has just had about 7 lbs. of R-22 refrigerant added to his air conditioner.  He tried to pay the contractor but was told he would have to bill him because he didn’t know the current price.  The homeowner also had the contractor give him an estimate to replace the entire system.  This was what the contractor spent most of his time on according to the article.

Now, the homeowner gets a bill for this service and is stunned.  Because the forum he was originally on has a rule of no pricing talk, he eluded to the price by saying he recently had four Michelin HydroEdge high end radial tires put on his car and it cost just about the same as 6.7lbs of R22. So I come up with approximately  $450-$500.

So, Mr. Homeowner asks this forum of professionals if this was reasonable.  They indicate that it was.  He responds that he had found R-22 on the internet for $xxx.xx per 30 lb. Jug.  Now the professionals give him a hard time.  They tell him that refrigerant is going up and that he does not understand what it takes to run a business.  He gets broadsided for asking for help.  Go figure.  You want to know why?

At the time that this took place; R-22 was selling for around $125.00 per 30# jug.  Just a couple of months before that, it had been as low as $80 per jug, so the statement that R-22 had been going up was true.  But it didn’t go up 500%!  At the current price the contractor was most likely paying in the range of $4.25 per lb.  So let’s assume that contractor added a little profit to the refrigerant.  $15 per lb.  That in and of itself should make you mad!  But if that were the case, that leaves the $350-$400 of labor for an hour and half of service.  Remember, he also took time giving an estimate.

$266 per hour.   Do you make that much?


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Comment by Andy S.
2008-02-26 20:33:12

Freeze ups like this can be caused by two common reasons. Dirty filters which reduces the amount of air flow over the DX coil can cause freezing. A low charge can cause this as well. Check the filter first, it’s much cheaper.


Comment by gourmet coffee snob
2008-03-22 03:40:22

I thought R22 (CFCs) were illegal. I know they used to be used in car air conditionting, but the was outlawed years ago.

~~gourmet coffee snob~~
Always Drink Better Coffee

Comment by Boyd
2008-03-22 03:58:03

Hi Coffee Snob,

Thanks for the comment. Actually R-22 is still being produced today, but is and has been in the process of being phased out of production. The final phase out takes place in 2010. R-410A is becoming the standard and replacement refrigerants are being developed to fill the R-22 loss.

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