Well ladies and gentleman it’s that time of year again. The summer season is just around the corner. The question is what will the pricing on R-410A do over the dog days of summer?
In 2010 the United States kissed goodbye to the ever popular HCFC R-22 refrigerant and began manufacturing all new air conditioning machines to take R-410A/Puron. Even though it’s only been a short six years since 2010 R-410A has become the mainstream refrigerant across the United States and is quickly becoming popular around the world. With the phase out of HCFC R-22 the 410A market began to explode as each and every new machine required it. The last R-22 units will be fading away over the next few years and the only thing that will be left our the new, and somewhat improved, 410A units… at least for the foreseeable future.
Factors to Consider
When looking at the pricing of R-410A for 2016 there are numerous items that need to be considered. Let’s dig into a few of them now and take a look.
- China is actively switching more and more units away from the old HCFC R-22 refrigerant and over to R-410A. In 2016 it is predicted that fifty percent of China’s newly manufactured units will take 410A. China moved much slower than the United States and the rest of the world but now that they are switching over this new demand across the market could cause the price to climb, albeit slowly. Their switch isn’t like a light bulb being flipped on, instead it’s more of a slow transition over a period of years.
- The high Global Warming Potential of R-410A. 410A has a GWP 2,088. While this HFC refrigerant is not damaging the O-Zone layer it is actively contributing to Greenhouse Gas emissions and to Global Warming. As more and more countries switch away from the HCFC R-22 refrigerant the bigger the impact 410A will have on the climate.
- Because of R410A’s high Global Warming Potential the rush to find an alternative refrigerant. Chemours, Honeywell, and other companies are doing their best to find a low Global Warming Potential alternative to 410A. There have been a few submissions here and there but so far not one particular refrigerant has come out on top.
Ok, so what will the price on 410A do over the 2016 season? Well, truth be told, I do not see it moving much, if at all over the next six months. If you were to purchase a pallet of R-410A you could expect to pay around seventy to seventy-five per twenty-five pound cylinder. (forty cylinders to a pallet.) This could potentially climb a few dollars over the next few months as the heat sets in, but I don’t see it going past seventy-nine dollars a cylinder.
If you are looking to purchase a cylinder or two at a time you are looking at about ninety-five to one-hundred dollars a cylinder. If I’m looking for individual cylidners I usually buy these online from Amazon or E-Bay. These sites allow you to make a purchase, have it delivered to your door, and have the backing of some of the largest retailers in the world in case something goes wrong. It’s much safer than buying from a no-name E-commerce store.
Looking into the future of R-410A pricing it’s hard to say what will happen. The usage of 410A will inevitably climb in China year after year, but as they begin to use more other countries have begun using alternative refrigerants. Japan, for example, has begun using R-290 (Propane) instead of R-410A on some of their newer units. It looks like the moment someone starts using more 410A another person starts using less.
Not only are other countries beginning to use alternative refrigerants but refrigerant manufacturers are toiling away in their laboratories working on creating new and improved alternatives to 410A refrigerant. Just last year The Chemours Company, formerly DuPont, announced their new DR-55 refrigerant.
Overall, I would say the pricing on 410A is stable and locked in at the mid seventies in bulk purchasing and high nineties to low one-hundreds when purchasing as individual cylinders. I predict that it will stay this way for some time. As new alternatives come out and began seeing use the price on 410A will inevitably come down from the seventies and may end up in the low sixties, maybe even high fifties. The question is when will the new mainstream alternative be released?