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Why is Refrigerant so Expensive?

Refrigerants are coolant supplies used in HVAC systems that essentially power the cooling process. A refrigerant can effortlessly change its state from gas to liquid (and vice versa); after absorbing heat, it passes through evaporator coils, lowering the temperature of your home’s interior.

While the fact that refrigerants are essential to all HVAC owners, their prices are surprisingly high in recent times. There are several speculations regarding why refrigerant is so expensive not just in Raleigh, but seemingly everywhere these days, most of which revolve around:

Laws and Stricter Testing

Ever since the invention of the first commercially-available refrigerator, the laws regarding testing the materials used to create these products became considerably stricter. The most obvious example is the ban on certain Freon products, one of the most popular refrigerant brands, from certain states and markets. Routine tests became more frequent and regimented, and repeated testing became commonplace. Today, refrigerant manufacturers need to take their products to several laboratories and factories to test their levels of flammability, volatility, purity, and more.

Expensive Manufacturing Process

Various ingredients and compounds need to be used in very accurate measures to create a high-quality refrigerant product. Furthermore, the depth of the manufacturing process heavily influences the price of any product, refrigerants included. Some companies either own or are in some way affiliated with labs from which they source fluorine, carbon, chlorine, and other compounds. Those that do not have this option need to source their ingredients at higher prices, and ultimately sell them as more expensive products. The prices of both manufacturing equipment and ingredients vary from country to country, some companies need to pay extra fees to ship better gear, which again reflects on the price.

Many People Still Use Banned Refrigerant Products

In the wake of bans enforced on environmentally-unfriendly refrigerants, the supply has nearly halted while demand still exists. In fact, given that ’legitimate’ refrigerant products are more expensive than, for example, R-22, which was nearly taken out of the market in 2015, it is obvious that people still don’t want to overpay as long as alternatives exist. The reason why legal refrigerants aren’t becoming cheaper is tied to the same roots. The demand for regular refrigerants is simply not as high. Ensure your cooling system is ready for spring and summer. If it’s running at lower efficiency, you may need refrigerant. Contact North Carolina Heating and Cooling today for a free consultation.


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