Using an Old Air Conditioner: Is It Safe?

If your air conditioner is approaching the end of its lifespan, you’re probably planning to replace it with a newer model to ensure optimal comfort in your home. But did you know that using an old cooling system can actually be hazardous for your health? 

In fact, there are numerous health and safety risks associated with using old air conditioners. This is even more true if you are using an AC unit that hasn’t been serviced and maintained for years. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers of relying on an aged cooling system for maintaining the comfort of your home. 

Is It Dangerous to Use an Old Air Conditioner? 

Old air conditioners are not only less efficient than their modern counterparts, but they are also far more dangerous to use. Here’s why you shouldn’t use your old AC unit: 

  • Bacteria: during years of use, all kinds of harmful fungi and bacteria can build up around your AC’s components. If the unit is not serviced and maintained on a regular basis, the number of microorganisms will continue to increase, possibly resulting in infections. 
  • Fire: your aged old conditioner probably has many components that are outdated or deteriorated. For instance, faulty pipes and fans can cause excessive accumulation of heat, while different electrical issues can easily slip under the radar, posing a fire hazard. 
  • Chemicals: many old air conditioners use potentially dangerous and toxic chemicals, such as ozone-depleting types of refrigerant. These chemicals are not only harmful to your health, but they are also horrible for the planet. 
  • Respiratory problems: good air quality is essential for maintaining your and your family’s health. This is nearly impossible if you own an aged cooling system. In fact, old AC units are known to aggravate conditions such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. 
  • Increased bills: the older the air conditioning unit, the less efficient it will be at cooling down your space. Because of this, you are likely to receive increasingly higher energy bills if you continue using your outdated unit. 

Additional Health Hazards of Old Air Conditioners 

The health risks and hazards associated with using old AC units are so significant that there is a specific syndrome that describes the symptoms. The sick building syndrome happens when harmful germs build up in aged air conditioning units and start affecting the health of the inhabitants. 

You know what sick building syndrome feels like if you’ve felt sick or nauseous immediately after entering a building. Other symptoms include respiratory problems, fatigue, headaches, and skin irritation. You will be more likely to notice the effects of the syndrome if you have any other underlying medical conditions. 

Should I Replace My 15 Year Old Air Conditioner?

Modern air conditioners have a lifespan of anywhere between 10 and 15 years. If your unit is older than that, a replacement would probably be the best idea. This is because as air conditioners near 15 years of age, they start to experience more frequent breakdowns and pose more and more serious health risks over time. 

A spike in your energy bills is another sign that you may need an AC replacement. Additionally, fluctuations in humidity may also indicate that your system is struggling to keep your home cool and comfortable. Ultimately, an air conditioner that can no longer fulfill its primary role effectively despite routine maintenance and servicing should probably be replaced. If you notice persistent issues with your air conditioner, make sure to contact your local HVAC professionals of choice. They will evaluate the state of your cooling system and determine whether a repair or replacement would be the better option. Visit this website to learn more about air conditioning systems!