The Benefits and Costs of Replacing Old Freon-Powered Air Conditioning Units
Perhaps your AC unit has broken down again – for the nth time. Or you just want to rid yourself of freon-powered air conditioners. Have you ever had to choose whether to have your old AC unit fixed by an HVAC repair shop or buy a new one instead?
There are times when you’re better off purchasing a new unit instead of having it repaired. The benefits of new AC and the cost of new AC units often outweigh repair services for old AC units.
Whatever your case is, we have compiled a list of the benefits and costs of getting a new AC unit.
When to Replace Your Old Freon AC Unit
There are times when you’re better off replacing your unit than having it repaired. Here are the situations in which replacement is your best choice:
- Compressor Failure
The compressor is the unit’s heart. The AC unit will fail to function if the compressor is damaged. But, costs of replacing the compressor is comparable to the cost of having the entire AC unit replaced with a new one.
- Multiple Refrigerant Leaks
Trying to fix several Freon refrigerant leaks with accompanying corrosion on the coils will only lead to the development of more leaks. Repair is also expensive and without guarantees of completely patching up all the leaks. It’s better to purchase a new air conditioner than to risk repair.
- Unit’s Environmental Exposure
Outdoor or rooftop AC units aged more than 14 years that are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions are better off being replaced with a new unit once they break down. It may be hard to pinpoint and fix issues with these units, and repairs will also cost as much or even more than a new unit.
- Long History of Breakdowns and Repairs
If your AC unit has been problematic for a long time already, it is time to replace it instead of having it repaired once again for a new breakdown issue. Costs can easily accumulate for every repair done, which could even exceed the price of a brand-new unit. Also, your old unit may never be restored to its fully-functioning capacity despite those repairs.
Benefits of Replacing your Old Freon AC Unit
Have you now assessed your freon AC unit and realized the need for replacement instead of repair? Experience the following benefits of new AC unit purchase:
- Better Cooling and Humidity Level
Replacing your aging freon AC unit will no doubt improve the coldness and humidity level of your room or building. This is because old units are often already inefficient and inconsistent at providing the right temperature and humidity.
- Improved Energy Efficiency
Old AC units are built with energy efficiency in mind. However, newer models harness the power of technology to create AC units that exceed the energy efficiency of their older counterparts.
Replacing your old air conditioner with a new AC unit ensures that less energy is consumed, while producing better cooling for your building.
Apart from that, modern air conditioning units work on easy-to-operate systems and have built-in programmable thermostats, which make them even more efficient.
- Less Repair and Operating Costs
If you have an aged air conditioner unit, chances are, the costs of maintenance and repair will skyrocket to an amount equivalent to a new unit. When this happens, it’s more practical and viable to purchase a new air conditioner unit.
You will save more on new units because the new ACs still operate at their full functionality, with less chances of breakdowns due to wear and tear. New units also have warranties that will further lower costs should your unit need repairs during the warranty period.
- Lower Cost of Energy Bills
You might have noticed your electric bill costs soar high when using an old AC unit aged 14 years old and above. Purchase and use a new one and expect your bills to go down.
Using new air conditioning units may reduce the cost of your monthly electricity bills. It’s because these new units use energy more efficiently, delivering better cooling performance with less electricity use.
- Less Noise
Modern air conditioning units produce considerably less noise than older ones. One may argue that old AC units gradually become noisy due to their age and the many repairs they’ve undergone. But still, to start off, newer units still have lesser humming sounds than when their old counterparts were still new.
- Better for the Environment
Replacing your AC unit with a new model is a good step towards being more environment-friendly.
The refrigerant used in old air conditioning units is called R22, better known as Freon. Freon is gradually being phased out due to its harmful effects on the environment.
Freon is a chemical that belongs to the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) family, and it has devastating effects on the ozone layer. It rapidly traps heat in the atmosphere, contributing to ozone layer thinning and worsening global warming.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered to stop Freon production by January 2020. Since 2010, Freon refrigerants have already been replaced by a more environment-friendly refrigerant called R410A (Puron).
Purchasing a new air conditioning unit means that you’re getting rid of Freon and using a more environment-friendly AC unit instead. These new units also work with reduced environmental footprint without impacting their cooling performance, which makes both you and Mother Earth happy.
To Replace or To Repair – The 5000 Rule
You might be having second thoughts about replacing your old AC unit because of the high price tag involved. Perhaps you’re just considering repairs for your old unit instead. But here’s a principle many HVAC repair shops and AC unit sellers consider – The 5000 Rule.
The 5000 Rule estimates the amount of money you’ll shell out to cover AC unit repair expenses. Simply take the age of your unit in years and multiply them with the cost of repair. If the answer exceeds 5,000, you’re better off purchasing a new unit.
For example, your old unit is 13 years old, and your repair costs reach $400. Multiply 13 by 400 and you’ll get 5,200. This exceeds The 5000 Rule, so it is recommended for you to buy a new unit instead.
The reasoning behind this rule is simple. Repair costs can skyrocket well above the cost of a new air conditioning unit over time.
The national average cost of a new unit is at $4,631 – round that off and you’ll get $5,000. Accumulated repair costs over many years will quickly add up to at least $5,000 or even more, depending on your unit age and condition. To prevent wasting your money on repeated repairs, it’s better to purchase a new unit if your old one is worn out from years of use.
Costs of Upgrading to a Modern AC Unit
The cost of new AC units vary greatly, depending on the following factors:
- The type of AC unit and system your home or building needs
- Features of the AC unit, such as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
- Existing HVAC duct system
- Contractors and labor for installation
Purchasing and installing a new air conditioning unit typically range between $3,000 and $5,000 all-in-all. Costs can even soar as high as $9,000 for high-end models or for buying several units to install in a building.
Too pricey? Again, estimate and compare the costs you’ll incur for repairs versus replacement of AC units. You might be surprised to find that replacement might be a more viable option for you.
Check how much you can save at CentralAir.com with a new ac unit quote.
Wrapping It Up
Torn between having your old AC unit repaired versus purchasing a new AC unit? You don’t have to be. Base your decision on your needs and on the actual condition of your existing AC unit.
Basically, if your unit is older than 10-14 years and has been through a lot of breakdowns and repairs, you’re better off buying a new unit. There are various benefits of new AC unit purchase which may make you convinced enough to toss out your trusty but old AC unit.
Costs of AC unit purchase may leave you feeling overwhelmed. But if you look at the costs long-term rather than just the upfront prices, you’ll see that replacement is better than having it repaired over and over.
In the end, your choices will depend on your existing AC unit’s performance and your set budget for either repair or replacement. What matters is that whether you choose repairs or replacement, you’ll end up having a working AC system that will properly keep your home or building cool and temperate.