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What Are the Differences Between Old and New Air Conditioners?

Posted: 2020-07-30

Getting a new air conditioner for your home must be taken seriously. It’s a significant stake in your family’s comfort. If you’re stuck with an AC that’s 10-15 years old, you’re likely paying more to keep your home cool than what you should.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is a reliable HVAC company in Dellwood MN. We offer an array of Lennox air conditioners, which are considered as some of the quietest and most energy-efficient in the industry.

Maybe you’re wondering “What technological advances have been made in new air conditioner technology?” Is getting a new AC worth the money and hassle or should I stick to my existing unit? This article aims to help you understand the benefits and advantages of going with a new air conditioner.

Effortless Maintenance

Trying to maintain a 15-year old air conditioner comes with a price — a costly one. To ensure they work as they are supposed to, old units have to be serviced four times per year instead of the usual two for newer units. That means you’re spending a minimum of $200 on maintenance alone per year.

Maintaining your old AC is a good thing. However, you cannot stop it from deteriorating due to wear and tear. You can’t stop a person from getting old — it just happens, whether you like it or not. As for an old AC, the real challenge is not finding a good technician but securing replacement parts. The older your AC is, the harder it is to find components.

A Safer Refrigerant

We should love the environment and take steps toward preserving it for us and future generations. Unfortunately, most old air conditioners work against this goal, mainly because of the refrigerant they use. If your AC requires R22 as its primary coolant, you should expect hundreds of dollars worth of bill to have it topped up. As a matter of fact, as of 2010, R22 has been banned from production and importation. That’s the reason why it’s so pricey to get an R22 refill.

Why does the U.S. government prohibit the use of R22 refrigerant? It’s because of its effect on the ozone layer. This refrigerant is an ozone-depleting substance, which once released reacts with the ozone layer, causing considerable damage. Over time, this damage causes a higher level of UV radiation to reach the surface of the earth. As a result, the earth’s temperature has gotten higher, leading to health problems such as cataracts, sunburn, and skin cancer.

New air conditioners are a breath of fresh air as they are now equipped with R410a refrigerant. This coolant is approved for use in all newly manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps. Compared to R22, R410a does not damage the ozone layer. Also, R410a works better at absorbing and releasing heat than R22. This is one of the reasons why new air conditioners are considerably more energy-efficient than older units. Moreover, this refrigerant requires the use of more durable air conditioner parts, which minimizes the risk of your system overheating and breaking down.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Did you know that your air conditioner contributes to your indoor air, in addition to making you and your family feel comfortable at home?

Unfortunately, old air conditioners aren’t as effective in cleaning the air that circulates in your home. Polluted air can negatively affect your health by spreading dust, dirt, and dander. This is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and people with preexisting respiratory conditions.

The good news is that new, high-efficiency air conditioners perform better at improving your home’s indoor air quality. Here are a few features:

  • High-efficiency air conditioners have more extended periods of air circulation, allowing the air to pass through the filter continuously
  • They use variable-speed modes that appropriate the amount of cooling and airflow that is delivered
  • They can run at low power for longer periods and keep the air moving in your home
  • They are equipped with better air filtration systems

Lower Operational Costs

It is usual for an old air conditioner to have a decline in performance, particularly if it nears the end of its average lifespan. Old compressors use more electricity and cool less efficiently after about 12 years, causing you to pay more to feel fresh at home. Also, old air conditioners have a seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) rating lower than the current minimum of 13.

On the other hand, new air conditioners are at least on par with the industry standard and have technologies that help further reduce operational costs.

Questions? Call Four Seasons Air Specialists

To help you find the right air conditioner for your home, call one of our HVAC professionals. It’s our pleasure to answer your questions and guide you in making an informed decision. We are your reliable White Bear Lake AC installation company.