KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residential and commercial air conditioning units could be using a refrigerant that will soon stop production .
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency will no longer produce R-22, also known as "Freon."
"It has a chlorine in it and that is harmful to the ozone layer," said Mike Evans, a field supervisor for Neal Harris Service Experts in Kansas.
R410A is the newer refrigerant. Evans said it's more environmentally friendly, but can't be used in systems that take R-22.
Older systems that use R-22, which has been around for decades, could be on their last leg.
"You have an older system, the average life span is about 10-15 years, so you have a system that's maybe nearing the end of its life anyways so you don't want to be caught off guard by having it just fail," Evans said.
If you make the switch to a new system, Evans said it could cost you more than $10,000. Currently, Evans said R-22 is running at about $200 per pound.
As the supply continues to fall, Evans said the price will rise.
"We've known for years that R-22 would be phased out sometime and that it would get more expensive and it has," Evans said.
To prevent future problems with your air conditioning unit, Evans said maintenance is key. You should have a professional check out your system at least twice a year, once for cooling and once for heating. Also, keeping the air filters clean can help extend the life of your unit.