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Question DetailsAsked on 3/21/2017

What is the average cost to replace freon in AC unit?

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3 Answers


You can find a lot of answers to that question in the Home > HVAC link in Browse Projects, at lower left. With the current phaseout of Freon underway, some contractors are charging reasonable amounts (the gas wholesale costs about $15-30/lb in 25-30# contractor bottles), some are way overboard on pricing - as much as $175 or maybe even more per pound if you read industry blogs.

Here is an AL article on the subject -

Complicating the picture is some vendors wrap the charging and post-charge system test and pressure adjustment labor into the gas cost, some charge separately - so a lot of apples-to-oranges comparisons going on. Certainly, I would say anything over about $40-50/lb for the gas alone (contractor billing rate) or $100/lb for complete recharge including all charging and testing labor would lead me to think I was being ripped off. And of course, a charge of $100-200/lb (including the labor) might be reasonable for a 1-2 pound topoff due to a minor leak or after a repair (where you typically lose at least some gas), but if your system is taking 5-10 pounds (the normal range for a normal to largish size house) then wrapping that high a labor amount into the per-pound price is exhorbitant.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


This is the question of the year as we all know that R 22 is being phase out just like R 12 was sometime back in the day,as for my experience with this I would say that the cost should not be over the total cost of the drum of refrigerant by 2.5 to 3 times the cost but the problem starts with the goverment regulations on the HVAC industry and the makers of the refrigerant being used, then it comes down to the HVAC contractors trying to make as much off of the problem as they can ,all this is just as big of a problem as health care, gasoline,car manufacturing,and every other thing that the goverment gets into to or oversee or regulate.I see no end in these problems that we have, Sorry for the rant. Oh the cost should not be more then about $50.00 per pound, but that is still to much.

Answered 3 years ago by Leslie101


It really depends on the epa and other factors, as well as, the phasing out of R-22, there are viable options to be used, the flip side to this is, if it is done right, per the epa, all r-22 has to be reclaimed and the replacement has to be recharged into the unit, after any leaks are fixed, so this can be costly as well. just as an FYI, r-22 went from about $120/ per 30lb cyl to over $600 due to the epa one year haulting the inflow of cheaper freon from other countries. How this works is, the distributing company looks at the total amount needed for a given year, then negotiates with these different countries for the total amount to be produced and paid for that freon, they then average out the cost and charge the price plus margin. so say they get 30 billion pounds from China at $3/ lb, then 10 billion lbs from Spain at $7/ lb then 4 billion lbs from the USA makers at $15/ lb, they then average all of that together, add in the margin and sell and distribute accordingly, of course these fees include all epa taxes, fees etc. so of the epa haults the inflow of these other countries freon, to make up for the short fall, the price skyrockets, this is how the epa has caused the freon to go up, they allow less and less of the cheaper freon into the country and we have to use the more expensive made average.

This is a good example of how government gettting involved and regulating things causes false inflation of an item.

Answered 3 years ago by RepairMonkey01

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