Old A/C Units
Here at Redshift Wireless we are often asked if people should replace their existing Air Conditioner units, or keep using the ones that they have. The reason that they are asking is that Air Conditioners have become more and more energy efficient in the last few years. Air Conditioners are actually fairly efficient to begin with, starting at about 250%, and going up from there. Bar heaters are about 98% efficient. The reason for this is that they actually move heat around rather than generate it themselves. In essence, you get more heating and cooling power from your air conditioner than energy you put in. This is why they are often called a ‘Heat Pump’.
The question you have to ask yourself is when it becomes better to replace a unit than keep using it. The question is not as straight forward as it would appear. So, lets start with a simpler equation. Lets talk about my fridge. I had a fairly old fridge, and based on the efficiency numbers, it would cost about $200 per year to run. This is a lot of money. A new fridge, also according to the numbers, would cost about $67/year to run. This is a huge saving on electricity. These savings came from improved refrigeration technology and improved insulation.
Now, a new fridge of that size was going to cost about $1000. So, based on electricity prices, it would take me about 7.5 years to earn back the cost of the new fridge. Then there is the interest on the $1000 purchase, and also increase in electricity prices to take into account, but basically, it was not worth my while to replace. That was, until a friend offered me a two year old version of that fridge for about $400 as he was upgrading his kitchen. This took the payback to three years. And my old fridge went to my brother who had an even more energy inefficient model.
Air Conditioners are not quite so easy to do the calculations on, but if they are not used much, they are less likely to need replacing. More highly used units are more likely to benefit from being replaced. But, having said that, Redshift Wireless can breathe life into old hardware allowing you to use it less and more efficiently.