The National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA) is advising consumers of a possible spike in the cost of maintaining older home air conditioning systems due to a recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On January 1, 2010, the EPA placed a ban on the manufacture of new air conditioners using R-22, a refrigerant more commonly known as Freon® because of its ozone depleting effects. The use of R-22 was not banned, but rather allowances were dictated on its future manufacture and distribution in order to service existing home air conditioners.
Some air conditioner manufacturers responded by manufacturing “replacement” units designed to be Freon compatible. They are shipped with a “dry” charge, such as Helium or Nitrogen, but allow for the use of Freon at a later time. Consequently, demand for Freon remains high.
On January 4, 2012, the EPA proposed a rule which, if adopted, would significantly reduce production and distribution of Freon by approximately 50 percent. This has significantly increased, even doubled or higher, the price of Freon in recent weeks.
Home service contracts generally provide service, repair or replacement for items such as dishwashers, ovens, disposers, electrical and plumbing systems - and most importantly, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Many home service contract providers also offer a menu of optional items such as pool and spa equipment, well pumps, and free standing appliances such as refrigerators and clothing washers and dryers for an additional fee. Contracts do not cover pre-existing conditions, but will provide service, repair or replacement for failures arising due to normal wear and tear during the contract period.
Published with permission from RISMedia.