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Old A/C Unit Could Cost You

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Five decades, and counting.

This unit is about 50, 54 years old...I think it was original for the home it was built in, Resident Mark Minger said, while showing off his AC unit.

It's still humming along, providing comfort to Minger and his wife - on most days, anyway.

We know it's gonna fail when it's 100 degrees someday, but we can live with that.

The unit, and other older units like his isn't the problem, however. The problem is stuff insidethe stuff that keeps your home cool.

Dave Kohoutek with Colony Heating and Air Conditioning says older units use R-22 Freon. The Environmental Protection Agency is slowly phasing out its production.

2020, it'll be zero production, Kohoutek said. It's just what's recycled and recovered out in the field.

That leaves homeowners with some decisions to make. As 2020 draws closer, less availability will drive the price of R-22 up.

As the price of the refrigerant goes up, that'll be just added on to the customers invoice, Kohoutek said.

So if your unit goes down, you can deal with the R-22 cost and availability issues and hope you're as lucky as Minger has been.

It can't possibly last too much longer, so we don't have to worry about the 2020 deadline, Minger said.

Or, you can upgrade to the newer system now.

When it starts getting older and the price of the repair gets more, I'd start looking at the replacement of it, Kohoutek said.

Many are scrambling to make the change, and Minger says he will eventually. For now, his money is on old faithful.

I hope it goes for another 10 years, but I doubt it'll go another 1 or 2, Minger said.
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