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How an Older Air Conditioner Tanks Your Energy Efficiency

AC System

If your air conditioner is nearly 10 years old and still working properly, the natural thing to assume might be that you’ve got a real sturdy AC on your hands.

We don’t blame you for thinking so, but the truth is that air conditioners are sensitive devices that balance performance and efficiency. As soon as the parts begin to wear down, you’ll be dealing with an AC that’s struggling to keep up with standard performance.

In this post, we’ll go over a few reasons how an old air conditioner can seriously drive down your energy efficiency (and drive up your energy bills). If you haven’t had issues yet, use this post as an opportunity to check-up on your AC.

Lower SEER Rating

First off, the easiest thing to check is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. Similar to the miles per gallon (MPG) rating of a vehicle, SEER is a measure of the maximum possible efficiency.

For modern air conditioners, you can expect units to be rated at SEER values from 13 to 25. As for older units, an average SEER rating lands at about 8 or 9.

You might think it wise to immediately invest in an AC with a SEER rating of 25, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you do have an older unit, simply upgrading to a 13 would still be a huge improvement to your efficiency. It depends on your home and your budget, so you’ll want to discuss your options with a professional in energy efficient air conditioners.

Oversized Unit

Before HVAC technology was too advanced, the common line of thinking was simply this: more power means faster cooling. Naturally, many air conditioners were installed based on that logic.

Now, however, air conditioners are built to function with efficiency in mind. If size and power aren’t calculated properly from the very beginning, your AC’s abilities to operate efficiently will be compromised. Oversized units cool your home far too quickly, which in turn creates short-cycling: when your AC turns on and off too often.

Considering that turning on your AC uses the most amount of power, you can imagine that short-cycling has a huge effect on your energy usage.

Less Cool Air

Older air conditioners have older parts, and those parts tend to break down. And when a part does break down, it might not always be apparent at first. For example, if the outdoor unit’s fan is broken, it will prevent the condenser coils from dispersing heat outdoors.

This means that your home won’t be able to become cool. As you wait for the AC to do its job, it will be working harder to reach the temperature on the thermostat. If this doesn’t lead to a breakdown or overheating, at the very least it will continue to waste energy.

If it’s already been 10 years, there’s strong evidence that your repeated breakdowns are simply due to age. The next time you call your AC repair, it should be to discuss options for replacement.

Is it time to replace your air conditioner? Contact Air On Demand today!