How Much Does R-410A Freon Cost Per Pound?
In the past decade or so, freon prices have gone up drastically. But anyone who has central air in their home knows that freon is a necessity, especially for those in temperate climates that can get into the upper 90s or 100s in the summer. With Freon being a necessity, you must know exactly how much this will cost you per pound.
The cost of R-410A freon is $125 per 25-pound cylinder, which equals out to be $5.00 per pound. The average home uses 2 to 4 pounds of R-410A per ton of your air conditioning unit. So, if your unit is 3 tons, and you use three pounds per ton, you’ll need 9 pounds of R-410A.
The thing with R-410A freon is that it only comes in 25-pound cylinders or larger. Then you will need to have the right tools to use it, and it helps if you know what you are doing.
Also, you are not allowed to buy R-410A freon unless you are 608 certified. This article will provide all the information you need to understand the costs associated with this necessity.
How Much Does Freon Cost Per Pound?
Back to the main question of the cost of R-410A freon. No matter how cheap or expensive it is, it will not matter if you are not certified to use it. And not only should you be certified, but you should be experienced in HVAC repair.
So, by hiring an HVAC technician to refill your air conditioner unit, you will save money by not having to buy the whole 25-pound tank. However, you will be paying for their time and expertise, and it is not cheap.
Profiting On Freon
First of all, they will have to mark up the cost of the R-410A freon so they can make a profit on that. And then you have to pay them hourly for their service. Most likely, you will be paying the company they work for so they can pay the technician.
That means that if the tech makes $50 per hour, you will likely pay $60 per hour so the company can get paid for hiring out their technician to you.
If you were to hire someone on the internet who works for themselves, it would probably be cheaper. But you will be taking the chance that the person you hire may not know what they are doing.
What If You’re Not Certified To Handle Refrigerant?
Some states will require that only a certified HVAC specialist can handle your refrigerant, which means, if you’re not certified, you can not do this as a DIY project.
If you get caught, and you aren’t authorized, then you can be officially charged and fined up to $5,000. While hiring an HVAC specialist may seem expensive, it’s not nearly as expensive as having to pay this fine.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to call your local authorities to determine whether this is a law in your state or county. If it’s not, then it’s worth researching exactly how refrigerant should be handled, as this is a highly toxic and dangerous substance.
Do I Need More Freon?
If you are not an HVAC tech, then you are probably just guessing that your air conditioner needs freon. However, if your air conditioning unit is not cooling your home, it may not be the freon. There are other reasons why your house is not getting cooled off. Some of these include:
- A dirty air filter
- Outside unit is dirty
- Broken condenser fan motor
- Bad compressor
Now, the first two things you can fix yourself. You can change that air filter or clean your outside unit in just a few minutes. But the other two issues will need an HVAC specialist because that’s something that only a technician should handle.
Why Do I Need R-410A Freon?
Even if you are right about needing R-410A in your air conditioner, the reason is essential to figure out as well. You could fill it up and forget about it.
But if you have a leak, which is the most common reason you need R-410A, you will need another refill soon.
There are some clues that you may notice if your air conditioner is leaking freon. Some of these include:
- Air works fine when it is not as hot but does not cool when it is hot
- The air conditioning unit makes a hissing or bubbling noise
- There is a buildup of ice on the outside unit or refrigerant line
If you experience any of these issues, then it’s best to call an HVAC technician first to see if you do need Freon. Since it’s so expensive, you don’t want to assume you need it only to find out that you don’t.
What Is R-410A Freon Used For?
R-410A freon is a refrigerant of hydrofluorocarbon compounds used to replace R-22 freon. The main use for R-410A freon is air conditioning units. The R-410A freon goes through the process of evaporating over and over again.
The compressor in the air conditioner compresses the R-410A gas. At the same time, a bit of oil is combined with it to lubricate the compressor. The R-410A gets hot as it is compressed. The hot R-410A gas flows through coils to cool it and change it to liquid.
The liquid moves into an expansion valve to cool it down until it evaporates. This creates the cold gas that goes through a different set of coils. The gas absorbs the heat and lowers the air temperature in the house.
What Are The Differences Between R-410A Freon And R-22 Freon?
You have to make sure your unit uses R-410A and not R-22 freon because they are not interchangeable. If your unit uses R-410A, there should be a white sticker that says what refrigerant it uses.
Using one instead of the other can ruin your entire unit, meaning you will have to pay thousands of dollars for a new air conditioner. That is why it is best to let the experts handle the job.
This freon was invented in 1928 by a group of scientists. It was considered the world’s first non-flammable refrigerating liquid. This made it extremely popular since it made air conditioners much safer.
However, in 1987 it was agreed that this freon could no longer be used. It was creating chlorine, which was damaging the ozone layer. Although it is still used for old systems, any air conditioner made after 2010 uses the newer, safer R-410A freon.
Another refrigerant was developed to replace the R-22 freon because R-22 was harming the environment. There is no chlorine in the R-410A, making it safer to use in air conditioning units as well as heat pumps.
Unfortunately, you cannot just empty your air conditioner of R-22 and replace it with R-410A. There are two different types of lubricants for the internal parts. While R-22 uses mineral oil, R-410A uses Poly o Ester (POE) oil, which is found in jet engines.
Why Is R-410A Freon So Expensive?
The main reason that R-410A freon costs have gone up so much is supply and demand. As the older and more dangerous R-22 freon is edged out, the R-410A freon becomes popular.
According to experts, the producers cannot keep up. Another issue with R-410A freon is that there is a global shortage of one of the refrigerants used in making R-410A freon. This refrigerant, R-125, cannot be made quickly enough to keep up with the needs of the public.
Just remember this, you get what you pay for. And if you try to be cheap by doing it yourself or hiring a stranger, you may end up having to pay thousands to get a new air conditioner. Not only that but you might get fined and charged if your area has laws about who can and cannot handle refrigerant.
You’re paying $5 a pound anyway for Freon. Going through a specialist may cut this cost in half, coupled with the cost of labor fees. Therefore you would be saving money by hiring an HVAC technician rather than cutting costs by doing this on your own.
I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.
More by Patricia Oelze