Should you buy a new air conditioner or use your older one?
Its no secret that newer air conditioners are generally more efficient – even non energy star rated air conditioner units. Of course, you tend to pay for such “luxury”. The temptation is there to simply use your old air conditioner unit instead of perhaps upgrading it. It saves a lot of money in the short term – the cost of a new unit, in fact. But does it really save you money?
You might have already guessed the answer – no. You do save some cash in the short term, but this is quickly lost in the higher energy bills you are paying to run the old unit. Air conditioners, like many other appliances, lose efficiency as they age (there is no such thing as aging gracefully when it comes to appliances). Mechanical problems as well as outdated parts and older technology are all common in older appliances. Most of us wouldn’t think twice about upgrading our 30 year old fridge to a newer unit. Even a 10 year old fridge is “outdated” technology and energy use-wise. Of course, a fridge costs more than a simple window unit ac, so that explains why we’re all not running out and buying a new fridge every other year!
But window ac units run anywhere between $80 and $200 for a moderate sized unit. Consider this – if your old window unit costs $10 more per month to run, and you buy a $100 unit, you’ll recover your investment in about two years (given about 6 months of usage). For most, this is savings that is recovered quickly. The savings are even more when the temperature is turned down lower. If you like it “cold”, a new unit can deliver the same peformance at a fraction of the cost. So if you like the room to be at 68, let’s say, the unit will take about as much energy as the old inefficient one did at 72 degrees.
Anyway you slice it, upgrading your window ac that is more than 5-10 years old is a good idea – and a good investment.