Is My Old Air Conditioner Dangerous?
An old air conditioning system that hasn’t been serviced in years is bound to be less efficient than a modern state of the art model. But efficiency aside, is using an old AC actually harmful for your health? Should you use an air conditioner that has never been serviced?
In this article, you will learn why investing in a modern AC installation in Riverside to replace your old cooling unit is a much better solution than relying on a possibly hazardous system. Keep reading to learn how you can cool down your home efficiently using your AC without worrying about health risks.
What happens if AC is not used for a long time?
If you haven’t turned on your air conditioner for quite a while, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to switch it on again. This will depend on the overall condition of your unit before you stopped using it as well as the exact duration of inactivity. For instance, if you haven’t used your AC for three or four months, you’ll probably be completely fine. Still, if you’re worried about dust or debris buildup, take the following precautions:
- Check the compressor. If there are any weeds, dust buildup, or debris around your compressor unit, clear it before turning the AC on.
- Have your unit serviced. You should have your AC maintained by professionals at least once or twice a year. If you haven’t had your unit inspected for a while, contact your HVAC professionals of choice before using the unit.
- Use your AC in fan mode. You can remove dust buildup from the system by using only the fan mode on your AC for around 10 minutes before turning on the cooling mode.
Is it safe to use an old air conditioner?
If you’ve had your air conditioner for quite some time now and it’s starting to show serious signs of wear and tear, using the AC may pose numerous risks both for your health and the unit’s efficiency. Here are some of the hazards associated with using old air conditioners:
- Bacteria growth: over time, your air conditioner can become a breeding ground for dangerous fungi, bacteria, and other potentially harmful germs. This is especially true for older units that haven’t been serviced and maintained regularly.
- Respiratory issues: using an old AC will decrease the air quality in your home, which can be a serious threat to anyone suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions.
- Fire hazard: your old air conditioning system probably has worn and outdated components, such as faulty fans, broken pipes, or deteriorated electrical wiring. This can lead to heat accumulation inside the unit which can be a serious fire hazard.
- Volatile chemicals: many homes still have old air conditioners that rely on harmful chemicals to cool down your home. For instance, they tend to use ozone-depleting refrigerants that are highly damaging to the environment.
- High energy bills: the older your air conditioner, the lower its overall efficiency. Along with the greater possibility of breakdowns and expensive repairs, using your old AC will likely result in significantly higher bills than using a newly installed unit would.
Can you get sick from an old air conditioner?
As we’ve already mentioned, there are numerous health risks associated with using old air conditioning units. In addition to causing respiratory problems and bacterial infections, an old AC can also cause something known as the “sick building syndrome”. You may have experienced this phenomenon if you’ve ever entered a building and quickly started to feel sick for no apparent reason.
This syndrome is a result of microorganism buildup in old air conditioners. Some individuals are more likely to notice and experience the effects of the sick building syndrome, particularly if they have any pre-existing health conditions. These effects include headaches, respiratory issues, nasal congestion, fatigue, and skin irritation.
What happens if AC is not serviced?
An aged air conditioner that has never been serviced is a recipe for disaster. And even if your air conditioner is not that old, you should still schedule routine servicing and maintenance checks. Here’s why it’s important to have your unit professionally serviced:
A dusty and dirty air filter will have a much harder time performing its primary function. Unable to filter and clean the air in your space efficiently, your AC will have to put in extra effort into cooling down your home, resulting in increased energy costs. You should have your filters replaced at least once in three months, or more often than that if your unit is older.
Less efficient cooling
Numerous components of your air conditioner, such as the electric coils and fans, need to be properly lubricated if they are to move smoothly and cool down the air efficiently. As most homeowners don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to service and maintain these components, it’s generally advisable to have the unit inspected by professionals.
Higher possibility of breakdowns
Preventive maintenance and service is the best way to ward off AC malfunctions. In fact, most common air conditioning issues can be prevented with regular maintenance performed by knowledgeable HVAC experts. If you wish to avoid expensive repairs, you should also make sure to be on the lookout for any warning signs.
Eliminate risks with reliable AC installation in Riverside
If you are relying on an aged air conditioner to keep you cool during the summer months, it may be time to invest in a new modern unit that meets high efficiency standards and doesn’t pose any health risks to you and your family.
At Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Air, we provide expertise-based air conditioning installation, service & maintenance to home and business owners across Riverside County. If you are on the fence about getting a new AC system, our experienced technicians can inspect your unit and determine the best course of action for your circumstances.
Whether you need routine maintenance and service of your old air conditioner or wish to purchase a cutting edge unit for your home or business, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Contact Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Air today!