cost of puron (R-410A) per pound / typical markup

jlnjzApril 25, 2010

I think I'm being scammed (or at least gouged) by a local HVAC contractor. It appears that I have a leak in my A/C unit and he is telling me that it costs $140.41 for the 1st pound of puron and $115.49 for each pound after.....I looked online and it looks like a 25 lb tank of puron goes for under $250. Doesn't that seem like a ridiculous profit margin? Just curious. Have decided to use a different contractor but wanted to get the general opinion on this

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snoringcow

That's a nice healthy mark-up!
I just paid $220.00 per tank of R-22 which is on the rise due to it's supposed and theorized "ozone layer depleting" properties.
Not sure what I paid for a tank of 410-A as I've only purchased a couple of tanks so far and have used very little of it. But yes, you'd have been slightly more than gouged. Especially in that the price you found online sounds like retail. Wise you were to go looking about!
Perhaps you misunderstood and they were in some way were including their service charges? Hard to believe anyone would be that blatently exorbitant.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:19PM
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jlnjz

snoringcow....thanks for the input. No, it didn't include service charges. I paid those separately. I had them out to do the yearly check and the unit that wasn't working is only for our garage. I suspected the A/C wasn't working correctly but with it being early spring I wasn't sure because we'd only had a couple of nice days. On that day, I paid to service the main house unit and paid a diagnostic fee for the other. They wanted $350 to do a leak search, add'l to fix the leak, and then the numbers noted above to recharge the unit. He wrote all of this out on their form he left with me....which is the only thing that makes me feel like he wasn't putting it in his pocket (the form was in triplicate) Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 7:51AM
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baldloonie

We're at $130 the 1st pound, $59 each additional. This includes LABOR & sales tax too. Flat rate, no clock watching because properly charging a unit takes time. Put some refrigerant in, wait 5-10 minutes til the pressures & temps stabilize to see if it needs more. If it does, add more, wait 5-10 more minutes etc.

Homeowners wouldn't fathom the overhead in this biz. Try paying the gas bill on 12 thirsty 10 mpg vans. Wanna see the repair bills? Insurance? I could keep going.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:27PM
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maryland_irisman

Was the unit completely out of refrigerant? If not, I think you should be aware of another aspect also. If the unit was 2 pounds of refrigerant low, I would bet dollars to doughnuts they were referring to 2 pounds per square inch gauge, not fluid pounds. Not knowing the size of the unit you are referring to I can't guess-timate how much total the unit would use. A 2 psig charge on a modest residential system would use approx. 1/8-1/4 fluid pound of refrigerant.

As for charges, I'm not going to dispute theirs because I have no idea the circumstances or their costs. However, I would work along the same lines as BALDLOONIE...A rate which includes service call and labor and then additional charges for anything that goes beyond the parameters of the initial charges.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:11PM
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dougl99

call baldloonie. A/C contractors really need to quit charging per pound and have a flat rate for charging a system to manufacturer specs. I seldom see an a/c contractor pulling out a scale and trying to weigh in his refrigerant (this method is not accurate anyway). The 'freon' is a small cost to the contractor. If his flat rate included 6 pounds of gas, and he used 8, not a big deal. The next job he uses 3.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:51PM
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