Air conditioning is crucial to get through the hot summer months, but most homeowners appreciate that this equipment can require a significant investment. Therefore, it is easy to see why some people delay replacing aging equipment. After all, if it is still producing cold air, why go to the expense of upgrading? What you may not have considered is just how much your old AC unit is actually costing you. So, here we’ll explore this topic in a little more detail so that you can make an informed decision for your home comfort.
How Old is Old?
With modern technology, old is a very subjective term. Many of us consider a smartphone old when it is more than a couple of years old, while your furnace has a lifespan of decades. So, just how old is an old air conditioner unit?
A good air conditioning unit can be expected to last for as long as 20 years, but this does not mean that it is a good idea to run it until it reaches this age. As your air conditioner unit ages, it will lose efficiency, so it will use more and more energy to maintain your desired temperature. According to Energy Star, homeowners should consider an air conditioner unit old when it reaches 10 to 15 years old.
As we touched on above, one of the main ways that an old air conditioner unit will be costing you is in lost energy efficiency. The legislation demanding better appliance energy efficiency is continually improving, and manufacturers invest a great deal of research and development to ensure that new air conditioner units meet or exceed these regulations. This means that even if you bought the most energy efficient AC unit ten years ago, it would be far less efficient compared to modern equipment.
If you’re using an older air conditioning system, you will struggle to even come close to the modern efficiency. Although you may not have noticed the cost of your energy bills gradually increased, as your AC unit is getting older, it will inevitably use more energy. Research suggests that poor cooling efficiency could create utility bills that are twice as high as they could be. So, although installing new equipment can be costly, you could cut your energy bills by almost half immediately, which would certainly offset the initial outlay.
Although you may think that you are saving money by nursing along your old AC equipment, older units inevitably need more expensive repairs. Although a repair bill of a couple of hundred dollars can be an inconvenience, you may think this is a bargain compared to upgrading your equipment. Now, mentally add up how many times in the last six months or year that you’ve had to pay a “smaller” repair bill. It is easy to see how those repair bills can quickly add up.
Buying new air conditioner equipment is like buying a new car. You simply won’t have to worry about any repair issues for a while. Even if an issue does arise, it will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. This means that you can forget about needing to call out an emergency repair technician just to stay cool.
In addition to the cost of repairs, the chances are that your breakdown or repair issues will occur at the most inconvenient time. For many people, this means needing to take time off work to wait in for a repair technician. Even if you can arrange a repair appointment for outside your usual working hours, the chances are that you will still need to wait around for the technician to arrive. This is difficult to estimate, but just imagine how much that lost time is worth to you?
Older air conditioning units can also compromise your health. When the air circulating around your home is not being filtered properly or moving around as it should, you’re creating a recipe for poor health. Whether you have allergies or a respiratory condition such as asthma or have one member of the family with a cold, if your air conditioner is not operating optimally, it can severely compromise the health of you and your family.
In addition to this being upsetting, medical care is not cheap. The more your health suffers, the greater the increase in your healthcare costs. New air conditioner units have improved filtration technology to help you and your family stay healthy and keep those medical costs under control.
As you can see, while it may seem like the best financial decision to delay upgrading your air conditioner, it could actually be costing you far more than you realize. When you add up the cost of increased energy bills, repair costs, increased medical care expenses, and even lost time, the cost of a new unit will not seem so unreasonable. In fact, upgrading your old equipment for a new, energy efficient unit could actually save you money. When you add up how much your old air conditioner is costing you, you may be surprised at how much money you could be saving with an upgrade.
If you’re still unsure about the initial outlay of a new air conditioning system, you can explore the terms offered. Many manufacturers have special offers and deals that can reduce the initial outlay and make an equipment upgrade more affordable. This will help you to offset the initial costs with the savings made on your energy bills, so you can enjoy the full benefits of a new system straight away.
If you’re considering whether to upgrade your old air conditioner unit, be sure to speak to an experienced HVAC specialist. A professional technician can not only assess your current system, but guide you through the options that are the most appropriate to the unique characteristics of your home. The technician will calculate the optimum size of equipment needed, so you can maximize energy savings and initial cost without compromising on your indoor air quality and home comfort.