How much does it cost to have refrigerant added to an air conditioner?

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You should never have to top up your air conditioner unless there is a leak in the system, simple as that. If some one tells you other wise they do not know what they are talking about. Take for instance, I have a fridge at home it would be 40 years old and has never been looked at. I also got an air con that is at least 25 years old still works like a new one, never been looked at. To answer you question r22 is $14 dollars a kilo traid price give or take. I repaired a air con for some one there was a leak on there system on a suction line flare nut so i simply pumped down the remaining gas in the system cut the flare and mad new one. Put a vacuum pump on the system and put 2.5 kilo of r22 back into system, I charged the customer $100 in total for the gas and my time.

Because of mandated production cuts in R-22 (the most common household refrigerant) the cost of "freon" has doubled over the last couple of years. In the industry the cost per pound off of the service truck will run between 20-45 dollars a pound. A typical service call shouldn't be more than 65-95 dollars. Most technicians should inform the customer of the high probability of a leak in their systems and the good technicians should let the customer decide whether or not to find their leak or just see how long the charge will last, this decision is this solely the customers, its their equipment and they run the risk of damaging it. A technician will want to spend a lot of time seriously checking every aspect of the system. They may be saving themselves and the customer another service call. Remember you want a serviceman, not a salesman coming to your home.

A contractor will probably bill you for the time the technician spends on the job at his hourly rate, and for the material he uses on the job such as pounds of refigerant he uses. It is hard to give a good answer to this question due to the fact that we do not know from what perpective it is being asked. Are you someone who has had a contractor come out and add some freon and think you got billed too much, or do have an existing air conditioning problem and think that this is what you need to have done to get it fixed? A good contractor will not give you a price for adding refigerant. He will tell you his hourly rate to troubleshoot your problem and solve it. Any contractor that only adds refrigerant to a system without finding out why the system is low in the first place is not doing his job.

A contractor will not give you a price for adding r-22 refrigerant because the substance is cheap and they want to "find" something wrong with your system that they can bill you a lot for. They will sit there for hours running every conceivable test they can to run up the hourly fee when they really know what's wrong within 5-10 minutes. Thanks for scamming the public you A/C scum. TV news programs expose these scams all the time, but they persist because we are all too busy to take a stupid 1-week air conditioner repair course which is all you need to learn the most common A/C problems.

The reason you wouldn't be given a set price is because a system shouldn't need refrigerant added unless something is wrong, such as a leek. "Topping off" is a temporary solution to a permanent problem, refrigerant. Doesn't just leak out over time, maybe do a little investigating before embarrassing yourself on this site. If your car suddenly dies, a mechanic cannot give you an estimate until he finds out what exactly caused it to die. Just because a few crooked contractors were caught on 20/20 doesn't make us all crooks. Good day to you.

There are times when simply adding a little refrigerant may be the "cost effective" thing to do. I have seen AC units that have very small and literally undetectable leaks. My own in fact. I have used electronic leak detectors, torch detectors, soap bubbles and other methods but have yet to find the leak. So - each spring (for the past 5 years) I have added about a lb of R-22 to the system (I am certified). So far, my unit is still working fine. However, I do agree that most times there needs to be a thorough job of trouble-shooting done prior to just adding refrigerant.
It is illegal in most countries now to simply "top up" any leaking a/c or refrigeration system, as well as it being the lazy solution to a problem. Refrigerant leaking into atmosphere causes deterioration of ozone. In Australia all refrigeration mechanics have legal obligations to find and repair leaks in systems or evacuate and shut down faulty system. Also anyone selling 1 week courses in a/c repair is the scamming scum and anyone thinking you can learn how to repair most a/c problems in a week is an idiot. Also if your system is short it is absolutely due to a leak. Refrigerant does not dissipate or run out inside a sealed system. Ideally a refrigeration system will hold its charge for as long as it is in service.

On May 26, 2009 in Cary, North Carolina, I paid $49/pound for 2 pounds of R-22, along with a $79 service/diagnostic fee. I was told this is the going rate for R-22 at this time, but I have no way of verifying that statement.

If you search the web it is common to find 30 lb. tanks of R22 refrigerant for roughly $210. This is approximately $7/lb. It has always amazed me that A/C service companies can get away with charging $30 to $50/lb for 1lb of R22 when they pay $7/lb. or less. Of course the average homeowner cannot buy R22 unless certified - even so, aren't these A/C companies gouging just a bit too much, or am I missing something?

I paid 30$/pound for 2 pounds of R-22 today. So, u got dinged. I believe I got dinged too because I could not believe a word of what the contractor said. I paid 79$ for regular maintenance. The only thing he checked was the freon. I told him to clean up and do a thorough inspection. So, he checked the contactor And he said that i will have to replace that. So, he basically said to replace contactor, add 2 lbs of freon and some compressor oil 520$. I said What the heck? He said the contactor alone was 120$. And I said heck yeah, which superstore do u buy it from? I can buy one off of eBay for 23$. No answer for that. I told him to fill the freon. And then i made him clean the condensor fins. Thatz about it. He did not do anything else for the money. What a cheat. The company is Service1 Inc heating & A/C in chicagoland. Avoid this company. My A/c was only 3 years old and running fine.

Freon WILL leak over time no matter how tight the system is. The copper is porus and not perfect. So adding a pound to an aging system every few years or so isn't abnormal. If it leaks within a few months, well you might have a problem.
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