How Much Will It Cost to Add R-410A Refrigerant to My AC?

Annie Sisk
Written by Annie Sisk
Updated February 17, 2022
An array of central air conditioning systems in a block of houses
Photo: Maudib / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Highlights

  • On average, R-410A costs between $75 and $175 per 25-pound container.

  • Recharging your home air conditioning unit will cost an average of $260.

  • R-410A refrigerant became more common after the EPA phased out R-22 Freon.

  • As of 2020, no R-22 can be imported or bought in the U.S.

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According to HomeAdvisor, R-410A refrigerant costs anywhere from about $75 to $175 per 25-pound container. However, costs rise in the summer when the demand for indoor cooling surges. To replace R-410A refrigerant, you can expect to pay an average of $260, including labor. 

While many use the terms “R-410A” and “Freon” interchangeably, Freon is DuPont’s brand name. As the EPA began its phase-out of R-22 Freon—previously the most common type of refrigerant—the use of R-410A’s began to rise. However, you can’t just add R-410A to your R-22 air conditioner.

Stores of R-22 should take care of older AC units until the end of their useful lives. When your R-22 unit is no longer fully operational and it’s time to upgrade, your new unit will require R-410A refrigerant.

  • National Average Cost: $260

  • Average Range: $140–$380

  • Minimum Cost: $100

  • Maximum Cost: $650

Average Cost for R-410A Refrigerant in Your Neighborhood

The cost of adding R-410A refrigerant to your home’s air conditioning unit varies from place to place in the U.S. You can expect to see the following regional price ranges for recharging your unit.

Map of R-410A refrigerant cost in the United States

  • Long Beach, CA: $150–$530

  • Denver: $240–$400 

  • St. Louis: $130–$270

  • Chicago: $230–$390

  • New York: $200–$400

  • Boston: $100–$160

  • Durham, NC: $550

  • Dallas: $100–$270

How Much Is R-410A Refrigerant per Pound?

R-410A refrigerant costs approximately $3 to $8 per pound or about $75 to $175 per 25-pound container. Starting in 2020, the EPA banned the import and purchase of R-22 Freon. If you have an older unit that takes R-22 refrigerant, you can’t simply add R-410A because of the pressure differences between the two products. Instead, you’ll need to discuss alternatives with your local HVAC technician, and you might need to upgrade your AC unit. 

Cost Breakdown to Recharge Your AC Unit With R-410A 

A technician checking an HVAC system
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As a general rule, you shouldn’t need to add refrigerant to your home’s air conditioning unit. Although they’re uncommon, refrigerant leaks and malfunctioning parts can result in the need to replace or replenish the refrigerant. Several different factors can affect how much it will cost to recharge your home AC unit with R-410A. 

Materials

Recharging your home’s AC unit will cost approximately $150 for the refrigerant. You may also have to pay an additional recovery fee for draining, collecting, and disposing of the existing refrigerant. Additionally, if further repair work is required or replacement parts are needed, your costs will increase accordingly. 

Labor

You’ll need a trained and certified HVAC professional to recharge your air conditioner with refrigerant. The labor costs for this work average anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Your exact cost will depend on your location and whether your AC unit is experiencing any associated problems. Geographical areas with a higher cost of living will typically have higher labor costs.

What Will It Cost Me to Add R-410A Refrigerant to My Own AC?

If your air conditioning unit develops a leak or is losing cooling power, you’ll want to hire a local HVAC pro to handle the job. Look for an experienced pro with the necessary EPA certifications to work with refrigerants, as required by law. Incorrectly DIYing this project can lead to costly repairs—and AC units are a relatively big investment—so call a pro, and get back to enjoying cool air in your home. 

How You Can Save Money on R-410A 

The best way to save money on R-410A refrigerant is to keep your air conditioner in excellent working order and schedule annual inspections before the hottest part of the year. Spotting problems before turning on your AC unit helps avoid bigger issues during the heaviest-use period, which will typically come with higher costs for service than during the off-season. During an annual checkup, your HVAC technician can tell whether the refrigerant levels need to be adjusted and can usually take care of that on the spot.

R-410A Refrigerant Questions and Answers

What does it mean to “recharge” my home air conditioning unit? 

When your HVAC technician mentions recharging your home AC unit, they’re referring to the process of topping off the unit with refrigerant, so the levels are properly maintained and pressurized. Normally, a properly functioning AC unit doesn’t need additional refrigerant, but AC units can develop leaks or other problems that decrease the amount of refrigerant needed. 

Can I add R-410A refrigerant to my R-22 air conditioning unit?

Because of pressurization differences, you should not add R-410A refrigerant to R-22 AC units. As of 2010, no newly manufactured home AC unit can use R-22 Freon, and as of 2020, the US doesn’t allow the import and manufacture of R-22. If your unit was made and purchased after 2010, it’s safe to use R-410A refrigerant. If it is older, you may need to update or replace the unit. 

How much does it cost to recharge my AC unit? 

It costs an average of $150 to recharge your AC unit. If a pro is performing AC repairs, the cost of recharging the unit is typically included in the total cost of fixing the leak or damage causing coolant loss.

How much time will it take to recharge my AC unit?

A home AC unit provides anywhere from one-half to five tons of cooling and requires approximately two to four pounds of refrigerant per ton of cooling. At approximately five to 10 minutes to fill one pound of refrigerant, a home that requires three tons of cooling will take about six to 12 pounds of refrigerant and approximately 30 minutes to two hours to completely recharge the unit.

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