R-22, Freon found in older air conditioning units to be phased out by 2020

Cost per poud of R-22 up to one hundred dollars

TAMPA, Fla. - Business is picking up for Alert Air Conditioning.  The solution for many is R-22 Freon, but it's getting scarce.

"It is going to get a lot more expensive and it is going to get hard to get ahold of," said Larry Spencer with Alert Air.

At the end of last year, the Environmental Protection Agency began phasing out R-22 or Freon. Scientists discovered R-22 is a greenhouse gas that can damage the ozone layer.

"This year the EPA has changed the ruling to decrease the production by 45 percent," he said.

With production down, the price quadrupled.  "One pound of Freon is $97.54," said Chris Staving.

Staving is an air conditioning technician who came out to fix ABC Action News Director Ron English's A/C unit when he learned he needed Freon.

"I was really shocked to find out that it is a hundred dollars a pound just for some gas," English said.

What used to be a relatively cheap fix cost him this time around.

"Your total is $118.86, one pound of Freon," said Staving.

By 2020, the EPA plans to stop all R-22 manufacturing. The agency said regular maintenance checks can help reduce your AC unit's need for R-2,2 because techs can spot small leaks and fix them. New units no longer use the gas.

"I can't think of anybody that wants to pay a cheap price and hurt the environment, but in the same hand we need to find something that is good for the masses," he said.

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