What is the cost saving for replacing an old unit?

Air Conditioning FAQs

Older appliances can represent a safety hazard and, as they don’t perform as efficiently as they used to, can see your household wasting unnecessary amounts of energy, translating into excessive bills. This is why you need to think hard about when to be replacing an old unit.

Recent advances in technology are built around increasing the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. This means that after the initial outlay for a new unit’s installation, your utility bills should drop to a reasonable level, saving you money.

When should I be replacing an old unit?

The government’s Energy star rating initiative, which rates the efficiency of appliances, suggests that you should consider replacing an old air conditioning unit when it’s over 10 years old. Many technicians say they would typically recommend replacing of old unit if they after 6 – 8 years but there are sometimes clear indications even earlier than this that the unit’s best days are over and it’s time to look at replacing it.

How do I know if I should be replacing an old unit?

There are three main factors to help decide if it’s time to be replacing an old unit. These are: Age, efficiency and repairs. 

  1. Age

The older the unit, the less likely it is to perform efficiently or require repairs with replacement parts that are hard to come by and thereby expensive.

  1. Efficiency

There are a few ways of gauging the efficiency or your unit. Ask yourself;

  • Does it blow air that doesn’t match the temperature you’ve set it at?
  • Does it blow hot and then cold?
  • Has the airflow diminished? If no cool air is coming out there may be an issue with the compressor.
  • Are there weird smells or noises coming from your unit?
  • Is the unit leaking or producing excess moisture?
  • Are your utility bills high although you use the air con in a way that should be energy efficient?
  • Is the unit turning itself off and back on again in shortened cycles?
  • Basically; is the unit doing its job? If no, it’s definitely time to go shopping.

With a newer unit any of the above occurring would lead to a check by a professional installer just in case the issue could be repaired. But what if it can’t? Sometimes the loss in efficiency is simply due to wear and tear which can only be fixed by replacing the unit.

If the model is discontinued there may be issues sourcing parts, which in turn may increase the cost of repairs. Parts may also have become unavailable, making any repairs impossible. Clearly in this instance it’s time to get a new unit in.

  1. Repairs

An older unit may also need frequent repairs, with no warranty to help you pay. If it’s costing you more than it should then again; a newer unit may be a more prudent investment. If an older unit needs complex repairs post-warranty period, it’s time to start shopping around rather than pouring money into something that will probably break down again and soon.

What can I save on by replacing my unit?

By replacing an old unit, you gain in a number of ways.

For example:

Health: A newer unit may assist with improving your family’s health. Many newer breeds of air conditioning have filters that can reduce the amount of allergy /asthma triggers in the air you are breathing. This may even help you sleep better. Either way the quality of air you breathe at home will improve and you can spend more time together inside as a family especially on extreme weather days.

Utilities: Buying a new unit can assist with energy bills as many newer units have the capacity to be controlled through a Wi-Fi system and apps. This means if you’ve left the AC on at home on a rush to the office you can turn it off without having to wait until the end of the day. You can also pre-set the unit to switch on and cool your home before you get there, rather than having to turn the unit on at full to cool or heat the space as soon as possible. As a rule, the newer unit should run more efficiently so that you don’t need it going at full blast to get the best out of it. You can take control of usage and adjust it as needed. Some even have systems that control different zones, which helps in maintaining your family’s personal differences in terms of comfort. This is invaluable when saving on arguments, and thereby your stress levels.

Warranty: A new unit means a new warranty. If something does go wrong related to the installation, you’ll be covered for between 1 – 5 years (depending on the installer). If something goes wrong with the unit, the manufacturer warranties are generally 5 years.

Repair costs: As well as having the peace of mind that a warranty brings newer units have parts that are easy to source, thus cutting down on the cost of importing a rare part from overseas or interstate. This is especially so when your air conditioning supplier has a strong relationship with your brand of preference.

Adding a new unit: If you are expanding your family or the space you use within the home, you may be looking at a new unit for a room that did not previously contain an air conditioner. You could use this opportunity to get your other units updated and see if it’s possible to access a volume discount for more than one unit. There are a few companies who offer these.

If you’re still not sure we always recommend that you ask a professional, they may be able to go through comparative costs of replacing the unit rather than repairing it and advise what’s best. In doing so technicians may also discover where you can be making further savings to your energy use, such as placing a new unit in an area where it might be more efficient so that you’re getting more comfort for your dollar.

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