Archive for March, 2010

A potential Freon fiasco

March 8, 2010

One of the inspector message boards recently posted a letter from one of the home warranty companies to realtors about Freon.  The parts of the letter related to most homeowners are duplicated below:

Starting January 1, 2010, a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandate will change the way your clients’ home

air conditioners are serviced and repaired. At that time, manufacturing HVAC equipment that primarily utilizes Freon®

(also known as R-22 and HCFC-22) will be banned, and the nation will begin using products such as Puron® (also known

as R-410A) as the standard refrigerant for air conditioners. This change will affect your buyers and sellers in many ways.

Costs will increase

A variety of factors will lead to increased costs:

  • R-22 parts may no longer be available.
  • Since R-410A parts are not always interchangeable with R-22 parts, replacement of the entire system might be necessary.
  • Physical changes to your system may be needed to accommodate the larger equipment required in air conditioners using R-410A refrigerant.
  • The supply of R-22 refrigerant will be limited, causing the price to increase.
  • Repairs may take longer because you may want to explore your options and wait for less expensive parts, if they are available.
  • New HVAC equipment may be more expensive to purchase and install.

Manufacturers’ warranties may not provide full coverage

Typical manufacturers’ warranties only cover parts for one year, in most cases. Labor is a significant part of any repair.

Each manufacturer may take a different position if an R-22 system cannot be repaired or parts are not available.

System and appliance warranties/ service contracts typically exclude coverage resulting from government mandated changes

Most system and appliance home service contracts/warranties contain language that effectively excludes the additional

costs resulting from this government-mandated change. Each home service contract may deal with this situation

differently.

Visit http://www.r410asolutions.com to answer all your questions concerning the impact of this new government mandate to you and your clients or call 877-777-3188 to deliver real time answers to agents and homeowners.
Even though the letter was originally written to realtors, it contains information that is important to homeowners, particularly the parts about prices of the Freon alternative.  But, one other part of the letter, which I did not include here, was that homeowners who are selling will likely now have to disclose any Freon systems.  As home buyers get wise to the Freon system problems, sellers will likely end up reducing their selling price because of the Freon problems.  Likewise, if you are in the market for a home, you may want to ask about whether the air conditioning system uses Freon.  Most likely it does or it will (depending on which side of the sell you are on).  That means in turn that older air conditioning systems that need repair might end up being cheaper to replace than repair.

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