It’s tempting to keep using an older air conditioner when it doesn’t seem to have a problem. After all, why fix it if it’s not broken, right? The average air conditioner will effectively serve a home for 10 to 15 years when it’s properly maintained. If your AC is 20 years old or more, there is a good chance that it’s costing you more to continue to run it. Consider these eight reasons to plan for a replacement, even if there isn’t anything obviously wrong with your aging air conditioner.
1. Reduce Your Energy Costs
Air conditioning technology has only improved over the last 20 years, and minimum efficiency standards have only gotten higher. Before 2006, the minimum efficiency rating was 10 SEER. Any system manufactured in 2023 or later is required to have a minimum efficiency of 14 SEER, which offer 28.6% better energy efficiency compared to the previous 10 SEER units. High-efficiency systems could have a rating of up to 25 SEER. The higher the SEER rating for the system, the less energy it consumes over the summer for the cooling output it provides your home.
2. Save On Frequent AC Repairs
HVAC professionals commonly see older systems needing frequent repairs due to components wearing out. Your system may not have suffered a catastrophic failure yet, but chances are you’ve had or will soon have to replace the capacitor, the contactor, the blower or condenser fan motors, the compressor, or the condensing or evaporator coils. Given the significant improvement in energy efficiency, spending money to keep an old system running only costs you more on your energy bill to run it.
3. Better Comfort Throughout Your Home
Newer systems can circulate air through your home more effectively than older systems. Further, newer systems operate a little differently than older models, allowing them to remove more humidity from the air while it’s running. A newer model will more evenly cool your home and better reduce how muggy it feels.
4. Less Noise
As air conditioners age, they tend to develop problems that make them generate more noise. Both the indoor and outdoor units may rattle and shake, making it a nuisance to both people in your home and close neighbors. Newer units are naturally quieter being all of the components are tight. If you select a model with a variable speed fan and two-stage compressor, it’ll run more quietly about 80% of the time while running the first stage.
5. Safer Operation
Older air conditioners are also more prone to electrical problems like shorts. Electrical components will eventually wear out, electrical connections will loosen, and wires may fray and wear. All of this makes it more likely for the system to develop a short which increases the risk of electric shock and fires.
6. Less Expensive to Repair
Air conditioners are like other machines where it becomes difficult to find the right part for a repair as the model ages and becomes obsolete. Even more importantly, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated changes to the refrigerant that air conditioners use. Systems built before 2010 used R22 refrigerant. This refrigerant was phased out completely in 2020, making it difficult and expensive to find when you need repairs that require a system recharge.
7. Avoid an Emergency AC Replacement
One of the major risks of continuing to run an older air conditioner past its intended service life is the need for an emergency replacement. Older systems tend to finally fail when the heat is most intense and you depend on it to not only keep your home comfortable but also safe. Choosing to replace your system before it completely fails allows you to take advantage of deals during the slower times of the year, and you won’t have to worry about it going out when you need it most.
8. Resize Your System
Chances are that over the last 20 years, you may have made some changes to your home that affect the cooling capacity you need. Many things can affect the cooling capacity you need, including planting trees that have matured and now provide more shade, expanding your serviceable area in some way, or changing the number of people in your home. Replacing an aged system allows you to get the proper size system for your home as it is now.
For more than 70 years, people around Champaign have trusted Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to provide their homes with effective and efficient heating and cooling solutions. Our team offers expert heating and cooling installation, maintenance and repair together with humidity control solutions and custom sheet metal ductwork options. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable air conditioning installation professionals today.