How Old is Too Old For an Air Conditioner? 

Saving money.

If your AC is over eight to ten years old and hasn’t been maintained regularly, you should strongly consider purchasing a new (more efficient, quieter, effective, and better for our environment) air conditioner or HVAC. Older ACs reflect inadequacies in essential areas making their repair less reasonable, considering the benefits of our newer technologies.



The following are a few factors to help you decide whether your AC or HVAC system is too old for repairs:

Peter Inch & Associates provides top-quality repairs that are first carefully estimated so you can make an informed decision regarding your repair. Read our Cornerstone article on our blog, Is it Worth Fixing Older HVAC Equipment?


1) How old is the current system? A system older than eight to ten years will naturally start to cost money in repairs. New advancements in technologies should be weighed against a large repair bill. 

2) How expensive is the repair estimate? Ask a professional about the likelihood of future complex and costly repairs. If a repair is estimated to be 40% of the original cost of the air conditioner, we highly suggest you consider a new HVAC or air conditioning system.

3) Does the current equipment seem to keep rooms evenly cool? You may be using a too-small unit.

4) Do you feel your cooling bills are too high? Efficient systems cool for less money.

5) Is the dehumidifying component working correctly? New technology like variable speed or two-stage allows precise humidity and temperature control.

6) Is the current air conditioning system regularly maintained? Keeping up with air filter replacements every 2-3 months and annual maintenance visits.

7) Are the two systems (the outdoor and the basement units, commonly known as a split-system) the same age and efficiency? At some point in the system’s past, it made financial sense to replace only the condenser (outdoor unit) and not the air handler (basement unit) or vice versa. Many years later, the inefficiencies of this mismatched system can shorten the life of both.


The current system’s age will tell you its variety of coolants and the air conditioner’s efficiency. 

Air conditioners built before 2020 use varying classes of refrigerants, either more harmful or not as harmful to the environment: 

  • Since 2020, all US-manufactured refrigerators, air conditioners, foam-blowing agents, fire suppressors, and aerosols no longer include the hydrofluorocarbon HCFC-22 refrigerant. This refrigerant, harmful to the environment, has been legally phased-out
  • Since 2010, cooling systems have used R-410A, a better refrigerant version which will be phased out by 2037.  
  • In 2023, new cooling systems will use R-454b refrigerant, which is more environmentally friendly than R-410A, the current one.


Energy efficiency diminishes as your air conditioner ages. New technologies produce higher cooling capabilities. The better efficiency, the resulting money savings, quieter performance, and environmental benefits gained with a newer AC are positive reasons to replace an older system: 

  • Current manufacturing means more effective components. Use less electricity to reach the same level of cool temperatures and save money on cooling bills. 
  • New cooling systems are much quieter than older AC systems.
  • A new system comes with your opportunity to purchase one of our very affordable  Client First Maintenance Packages. Your investment is well looked after by our team.



Just how efficient is your current air conditioner? Its SEER number will tell you.

Better efficiency translates to more money savings.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a grading system that calculates the ratio of cooling output per energy used in watt-hours. The higher the SEER number of a cooling unit, the higher its efficiency and the more money you save.

  • SEER 13 – minimum rating for new units.
  • SEER 14.5 and higher – receive an Energy Star rating, which is recognized as energy efficient. 
  • SEER 21 – high efficiency.
  • In 2023 SEER2, a new testing standard for cooling systems will be introduced, offering homeowners a more accurate understanding of their system efficiency.


If your older air conditioner requires an expensive repair and you cannot afford a new one this season, it may be better to go without air conditioning for one year. 

Save the money you would have otherwise spent on this year’s repairs and put that money toward a new and far more beneficial AC or HVAC system next year. Keep cool in the meantime:

  • Change your bulbs to LED. They do not give off heat.
  • Close your blinds and drapes mid-morning and keep them drawn until suppertime.  
  • Take a shower to cool off.
  • Open windows for valuable cross breezes.
  • Use a fan.
  • You will adapt.


Don’t hesitate to call us about any AC repair concerns. We’ll do our best to keep your older system working as long as it makes sense for you.


When you are ready for a new AC or HVAC system, contact Peter Inch & Associates, a caring group of professionals you can trust. Meet the team.


We serve the London, Ontario and St. Thomas areas. 

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