electrical safety, electricians, Annapolis MD
Written by Larry Cook

Deciding to Repair or Replace an Air Conditioner – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, summer will be soon arriving, and it may be time to decide to repair or replace your faulty Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. Part 2 will cover refrigerants and other factors to consider. Remember to consult with an experienced and licensed electrician before starting this project.


When an A/C unit needs more refrigerant, this is a strong indication of a coolant leak. Filling up your unit with R-22 refrigerant, also called Freon, may cost $40 to $175 per pound, with the service call included. Expert HVAC technicians estimate that repairing a leak and adding refrigerant may cost between $500 and $1,000.

An R-22 A/C unit that is leaking should be replaced. After the development of a leak, the air conditioner’s compressor, which can cost up to $2,000 to replace, will eventually stop working. The cost of repairing a leak, adding refrigerant, and replacing the compressor can equal the cost of a brand new, entry-level unit.

Additionally the cost of R-22 refrigerant has risen dramatically the past few years because it is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2010, HVAC makers stopped producing R-22 units while the manufacturing of R-22 refrigerant will end by 2020. The EPA has approved R-410A as a replacement due to its improved environmental qualities. As a result of shrinking supply, the cost of R-22 refrigerant will gradually increase.

Other Factors

Another factor in determing whether to replace your unit is whether or not your utility bills are increasing during the year. The EPA estimates that a new, energy-efficient HVAC unit, which can cost around $3,500-$7,000, will result in annual savings up to 20%. You should also evaluate the effectiveness of your HVAC’s cooling abilities during a heat wave. Professionals advise against replacing your existing unit if it does not have leaks and if your utility bills are reasonable.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.