Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances.
Why is R-22 Refrigerant so Expensive Now? U.S. government has placed restrictions on how much refrigerant can be produced and by 2020 will no longer be produced. As the amount of R22 that's available dwindles down, the cost of the refrigerant begins to skyrocket.
So what should I do?
Really, you need to look at the big picture here. Refrigerant should never need to be replaced. That means your system had a leak, which possibly means you have an older system. If your air conditioner currently uses R22 refrigerant, you should start to think about replacing it with a new air conditioner that uses one of the EPA-approved refrigerants like R410a (the refrigerant of choice for new air conditioners). The nice thing about air conditioners that use R410a is that they operate more efficiently than systems that use R22. So not only will you avoid the high costs of replenishing your current system with R22, but you'll also save money on operating costs.