6 Reasons to Replace Your 20-Year-Old Air Conditioner

June 9, 2023
AC Replacement in South Charleston, WV

If the air conditioner in your South Charleston, WV home is 20 years old, you should probably count yourself lucky. After all, many of your friends, family members, and neighbors have likely replaced their air conditioners twice throughout this time. However, even though your old air conditioner is still running, this doesn’t mean that it’s working as it should. Read on to discover six reasons why your AC should be retired after two decades of service.

1. Your Air Conditioner Has Lost at Least Half of Its Efficiency

Most air conditioners lose about half of their efficiency after just one decade of service. After your air conditioner reached its 10-year mark, its efficiency losses were both cumulative and progressive. This means that your old AC is currently using twice the energy it once required to get the same job done, if not more. Having a new one installed will result in a dramatic decrease in your home energy costs.

2. Residential AC Refrigerants Have Changed

A lot has happened in the residential cooling industry over the past 20 years. For instance, modern air conditioners no longer use the R-22 refrigerant known as Freon. Moreover, the importation and domestic production of R-22 have been outlawed. If you’re still relying on Freon, your next refrigerant recharge service could cost you a veritable fortune, if you’re able to find Freon at all.

Freon’s replacement, R-401a (Puron), has also been phased out. Both of these phase-outs were aimed at reducing carbon emissions. If you’re worried about your carbon footprint and your overall environmental impact, it’s time to get on board with new efficiency standards and new AC products that don’t harm the earth’s ozone layer.

3. Your Indoor Air Quality and Health Are Suffering

Your air conditioner probably didn’t last two full decades by accident. It likely received annual tune-up service from a licensed professional, regular filter changes, and the benefits of routine HVAC air duct cleaning. All of these measures support optimal AC performance. They also have a hand in protecting and improving your indoor air quality (IAQ).

Unfortunately, over time, air conditioners become less effective at everything they do. Their cooling power diminishes, and their ability to filter air and regulate indoor humidity diminishes, too. Worse still, they’re often harboring a number of trapped allergens and pollutants that may be causing headaches, fatigue, coughing, sneezing, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Older air conditioners can also develop and distribute some pretty rank smells. Just like old heaters can smell a bit dusty when first turned on, some older ACs release a “dirty gym sock” aroma that’s hardly ideal. This is the result of built-up bacteria, algae, and other germs within their condensate drain lines and increasing, age-related problems with humidity in other areas. Swapping your old air conditioner out for a brand-new one will give you cleaner, fresher, and fresher-smelling indoor air.

4. Your Total Repair Costs Could Exceed the Cost of Replacement

The biggest factor affecting your decision to replace your AC is likely cost. Even if you can comfortably afford to put a new unit in, doing so might not make much sense if your current AC is costing you absolutely nothing at all. However, just like air conditioners are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, their internal components have finite lifespans, too. When your air conditioner passes its 20th year, you may find yourself having to replace multiple parts at once. As the cumulative cost of repairs rises, you should also account for the ongoing savings that will come with improved AC efficiency and lower monthly energy bills.

5. You’ll Sleep Better at Night

After 20 years of service, you may find yourself having to make questionable trade-offs when your air conditioner is on. For instance, do you want to hear your television or do you want to watch TV in a comfortably cool room? Do you want to sleep in a hot, stuffy room or do you want to listen to the rattle, clang, and increasingly loud humming sound of an air conditioner that’s old?

New air conditioners offer whisper-quiet operation. With a modern unit, you’ll barely hear it cycle on. This means that you can nod off easily and sleep deeply while running your air conditioner. You can also hold quiet conversations with other residents or simply revel in peaceful silence.

6. The Need for AC Replacement Is Inevitable

The eventual need for air conditioner replacement is inescapable, even in homes where air conditioners reliably run for two decades or more. These units aren’t built to last forever, and after 20 years of service, your air conditioner is likely on its last leg. Replacing it now will prevent the hassle and financial hardship of having to pay for urgent AC replacement when you least expect it.

We’re proud to serve residents of South Charleston, WV. We offer AC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide heating, plumbing, and indoor air quality services. If the time has come to replace your air conditioner, give Mullen Plumbing, Heating and Cooling a call!

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