Exploring The Risks Of Using An Old Air Conditioner

rusty old air conditioning unit

Investing in an air conditioner is a major decision for any homeowner, often leading to the desire to extend its service life as much as possible. Yet, there comes a time when holding onto an old air conditioner can result in less than satisfactory outcomes. For R.F. Ohl customers, it’s crucial to understand the importance of regular tune-ups in extending the lifespan of your air conditioning system. 

Additionally, being mindful of the equipment’s mechanical boundaries is key. Eventually, the need for a replacement is inevitable. How well do you know the risks of relying on an old air conditioner?

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Exploring the Risks of Operating an Aging Air Conditioning System

Continue reading to discover the various risks linked with using an old air conditioner.

Impacts on Respiratory Health

reaching for inhaler due to poor indoor air quality

Immunity varies significantly among individuals. While some may remain unaffected despite frequent exposure to pathogens and allergens, others might quickly show symptoms. This is particularly true for family members with conditions like asthma or bronchitis, who are more vulnerable to such environmental risks. Ideally, air conditioners should enhance air quality by filtering out dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and other airborne particles. 

However, older AC units often fall short of this filtration capability. Additionally, unnoticed leaks in the ductwork can allow these particles to infiltrate the system and circulate throughout the home. If regular cleaning fails to alleviate these issues, considering a replacement of the air conditioner becomes a crucial step.

Don’t let an old air conditioner compromise your comfort – contact R.F. Ohl for regular tune-ups and maintenance services.

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Risk of Bacterial Contamination

Air conditioners play a vital role in lowering indoor temperatures and humidity in regions with a hot and humid climate, offering a reprieve from outdoor heat. While essential for comfortable summers, these units are not entirely resistant to environmental factors. The combination of heat and moisture within them creates an ideal setting for bacteria growth. 

Often, these microorganisms proliferate on the air filters and deep within the AC units. This can spread bacteria throughout the house via the ductwork, posing a health risk to residents. In older systems, routine cleaning might not be sufficient to address this issue, so investing in a new air conditioning unit is a prudent choice for ensuring a healthier living space.

Addressing Sick Building Syndrome

indoor air quality

Every building possesses its own distinct character, transcending beyond its architectural style or interior decoration. It’s about the ambiance and its impact on those who enter — some spaces are uplifting and calming, while others can induce feelings of illness and fatigue. This issue is known as “sick building syndrome,” a serious concern for businesses facing reduced productivity and high employee turnover. 

Homeowners, too, should be vigilant about this issue. If your family consistently suffers from illnesses, it might indicate poor air quality, potentially linked to an outdated air conditioner. Opting for a replacement could significantly improve your home’s overall atmosphere and well-being.

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Hazard to the Ozone Layer

Unlike older practices, modern home appliances adhere to strict standards that guard against harmful chemicals. In the past, appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners used volatile chemicals as refrigerants, damaging the ozone layer and increasing UV radiation. Older units still contain these substances. Since these chemicals are now banned, fixing leaks in such units is not viable. Upgrading to a modern air conditioner with eco-friendly refrigerants is a safer, environmentally responsible choice.

Elevated Fire Hazard

image of an air conditioner on fire

An aging air conditioner often harbors deteriorated components and frayed wiring, making it a potential fire hazard. Continuously operating these compromised systems can lead to excessive heat accumulation, reaching critical levels within the unit. The risk of short circuits from exposed wires is a severe concern, potentially leading to fires that can swiftly spread to other areas of the house, causing significant damage. The most effective approach to fire safety is prevention. Removing potential risks, such as outdated air conditioners, is crucial in safeguarding your home against such dangers.

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Declining A/C Performance

Aging air conditioners often fail to provide the desired level of cooling. They gradually lose their capacity to adequately cool an entire house, resulting in uneven temperature distribution — some rooms may feel comfortable, while others remain uncomfortably warm. 

This can be particularly troublesome if you frequently use one of the warmer areas. Relocating to a cooler room for comfort isn’t always feasible and can be quite inconvenient. Unfortunately, this issue tends to worsen as time passes, not improve. The most effective solution is to replace the old air conditioning unit.

High Energy Costs

couple worried about expensive energy costs

The excessive energy consumption of older air conditioners is a compelling reason for an upgrade. Past models were inherently less efficient, and this efficiency further declined over time.

Imagine no longer feeling apprehensive about your monthly energy bill. Modern air conditioners are designed to use considerably less electricity compared to older units. By replacing your current air conditioner, you’ll see an immediate reduction in energy costs, which can offset the expense of installation. 

Consider speaking with neighbors who have recently upgraded their air conditioners. Their experiences and specific details on costs and savings could be the deciding factor in your choice to make the switch.

Take the first step towards a comfortable and energy-efficient home – contact R.F. Ohl for expert cooling solutions today!

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Increased AC Unit Breakdowns 

Older HVAC systems often lack reliability, particularly during critical times such as the peak of summer when temperatures soar. They might struggle to cool your home sufficiently, leading to discomfort, or worse, they could completely break down. 

Unfortunately, such failures tend to occur more frequently as the system ages. Repair times can be lengthy, sometimes taking days, during which your family, including pets, children, and the elderly, are exposed to potentially dangerous heat levels. Upgrade to a more reliable and efficient air conditioning system.

Costly Air Conditioner Repairs

Dealing with breakdowns in older air conditioners is frustrating and expensive. These units often suffer from multiple component failures, including essential parts, leading to hefty repair bills. Frequent malfunctions can rapidly deplete your finances. Investing in a new air conditioner is a more cost-effective choice. With a new unit, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a factory-fresh system backed by a warranty, and with regular maintenance, you can avoid repair costs for years.


Every air conditioner has its lifespan, and eventually, it’s time to upgrade. The signs are clear: persistent health issues, rising energy costs, poor cooling performance, and frequent breakdowns. The drawbacks of holding onto an old AC outweigh the benefits. For your family’s well-being and comfort, consider replacing your aging air conditioner with a new, efficient model and start anew.

Trust R.F. Ohl for all your AC unit needs – our certified technicians are ready to provide top-quality service tailored to your home.

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Contact R.F. Ohl for Your HVAC Needs

R.F. Ohl is the go-to expert for heating and cooling services in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our team of professionally certified technicians excels in HVAC maintenance, repair, installation, and replacement, ensuring top-quality service for every client.

Understanding the need for a comfortable and energy-efficient home, we offer competitive pricing. Our maintenance services aim to enhance comfort and reduce energy bills. Whether you need a repair or a system replacement, our knowledgeable technicians will provide the best options within your budget, backed by our satisfaction guarantee.

For a free, in-home estimate or to schedule your service, call R.F. Ohl. Choose us for reliable and exceptional heating and cooling solutions that meet your expectations.

Click here to contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-1098 if you have any questions. Click the link to view our service area.

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