What’s “Market Price” Mean for R-22 Refrigerant?

May 24, 2016

Most of us have experienced a restaurant that had the words “market price” beside a seafood item on their menu.  Market price by definition is the price of an asset (seafood in this example) as determined by supply and demand. 

Now what does this have to do with the HVAC business you ask? Unfortunately a lot of money!
 
It’s standard for our industry to have an annual price adjustment for refrigerant. We make the changes to our prices, print a new book and we are good until the following year.

But this year for the first time ever R-22 doesn’t have a set price, it’s now listed as a market price in that book. Crazy huh?

What it means for you

If you need additional R-22 refrigerant for you air conditioner, the price you pay will depend on current market conditions.

So, for example, if you need it in the middle of the summer when demand is highest, expect to pay a lot. (Yet another reason to schedule your maintenance visit now.)

Why R-22 is so expensive

R-22 refrigerant is being phased out—we’ve known that since 2010. (It's being replaced by the new, eco-friendly R-410a refrigerant.) So there's less R-22 available and, as a result, the demand has grown, which means higher prices.

But don’t worry if you have an air conditioner that still uses R-22, as the production of R-22 won’t stop completely until 2020, it’s just going to cost a bit more.

For more information on how refrigerant prices and availability affect you, just contact the professionals at Santa Fe Air.