Is your air conditioner over 15 years and still chugging along just fine? On one hand, we want to congratulate you for having owned and cared for such a fine piece of equipment. On the other, we can’t help but be skeptical—is that air conditioner really operating as efficiently as it should be?
When we drive a car that has long outlasted its expected lifespan, we get a sense of pride for how well we’ve taken care of it, and we’re happy to hang onto it as long as possible (or at least to sell it off for a good price).
But with an air conditioner, that idea doesn’t really translate. An old air conditioner typically costs more to operate than a newer one, even after receiving regular maintenance and repairs (and unlike vintage cars, there’s nothing very exciting about keeping a vintage air conditioner).
Instead of feeling prideful about that old air conditioner, we’d invite you to take a closer look at its performance. It just might be costing you more than you realize. Here’s why:
The Inevitable Decline of Efficiency
Just like any machine, a brand-new air conditioner will gradually decline with each day of use. Of course, this decline is so gradual that you won’t notice it on a daily basis. Give it 10 or more years, however, and you’ll start to see how that daily wear and tear can affect a system.
It matters all the more with air conditioners since we tend to measure their efficiency not just on performance, but based on dollars and cents. If your cooling bill gradually increases with time, you can be certain that it’s a direct correlation with declining efficiency.
Cumulative Cost of Repairs and Maintenance
The natural response to declining efficiency? Repairs and maintenance! For any air conditioner younger than 10 years old, a thorough tune-up should be able to restore its efficiency.
But that’s not going to work forever. If maintenance and repairs worked 100% of the time, there’d be no need to replace air conditioners in the first place. An air conditioner in need of replacement won’t benefit much from tune-ups. At this point, you’re simply throwing away money when you could be budgeting toward a new system.
Operating on Lower SEER Ratings
On top of it all, consider that you might be running an air conditioner with an obsolete efficiency rating! No amount of repairs and maintenance could help you in that case.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is the standard for measuring air conditioner efficiency. In California, federal standards require the SEER of new units to be at least a 14. As for your older unit? You might be sitting on something as low as 8 or 9.
That means simply upgrading your unit to the minimum SEER will give you a substantial decrease in cooling costs.
Is it time for a new air conditioner? Contact A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today. Like our shoe covers, our customers are the coolest!