EPA regulation could impact air conditioning repair costs

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As the dog days of summer approach, it gets busier for workers at Webb Heating and Air.

“It is crazy! Phones ringing off of the hook. People upset because they don’t have air conditioning in their house,” said Seth Key of Webb Heating and Air Conditioning.

“People don’t want to be without air conditioning. Lots of times you get to them as fast as you possibly can,” said General Manager Josh Bradshaw.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been phasing out the refrigerant R-22, a type of coolant for your unit. It’s also commonly referred to as Freon.

The EPA says it’s harmful to the environment, so companies are replacing Freon with another coolant, 4-10A refrigerant.

However, 4-10A can't be used in older systems, leaving homeowners with an expensive choice.

“The cost of the R-22 has driven sky high. A lot of the times what causes homeowners to go ahead and make a decision to go with a new system. It just doesn’t make sense to continue to dump money into a 10 plus-year-old system,” explained Key.

The price to refill R-22 has gone up to $100-$130 a pound, rising more than 500 percent over the past 10 years.

The average price to replace an A/C unit could cost between $5,000-$10,000.

One of the biggest things you can do to save your A/C unit is to do routine maintenance, for instance, cleaning your filters.