CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's July in the Carolinas, and that means air conditioners are feeling the heat. It also means the people who repair them are busy too.

Repairs for low freon are costing consumers 40%, to 60% more than last year says Morris-Jenkins Air Conditioning Heating Plumbing.

"The old type of refrigerant, 'R-22' which is what everybody has been putting in their system is being phased out." said Rob Johnson, Service Supervisor.

The Environmental Protection Agency is phasing out 'R-22' to better protect the ozone layer by January 1, 2020. The new freon runs at a much higher pressure and cannot be used in old systems. The law of supply and demand is something Johnson says they can't control.

"No we can't. We buy it from our vendors, our vendors charge us a specific price which in turn we have to charge our customers. It's completely out of our control."

Consumer Jackie Ramsey has taken very good care of her AC unit having it serviced every year.

"We haven't had it replaced in 19 years. We're on borrowed time." said homeowner Jackie Ramsey.

Ramsey says the day her air conditioner runs hot, or breaks down she will likely upgrade to a new 'EPA approved' system.

"That's still so expensive."

Regular maintenance is one of the ways Morris Jenkins says consumers can protect their investment for a longer period of time.

"Everyone want's their system to last forever and maintenance is what keeps you in tune with your equipment." Johnson said