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Why Old Air Conditioners Pose Health and Safety Risks

Upgrade Your HVAC System For Better Safety & Health

We rely on our air conditioners to escape the heat, which, in Southern California can be year-round. Unfortunately, older units may not provide much relief, tend to need more repairs, and can sap electricity. But did you know they could also put your family at risk? Replacing a damaged or outdated A/C system could not only keep your loved ones cool but also safe and healthy.

Safety Risks

Old air conditioning units rely on outdated parts and power sources, including old electrical wiring, which can be a fire hazard. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that old wiring in HVAC equipment, including A/C units, space heaters, and fans, caused 14% of all electrical house fires between 2007 and 2011. Since electrical wiring is often hidden within the equipment, problems can go unnoticed. One added benefit of hiring an HVAC company to professionally install or upgrade a system, notes The Refrigeration School, is that technicians gain access to all the wires that powered the original unit. Before they install your new equipment, they thoroughly check these wires and identify any red flags to prevent hazardous electrical damage.

Health Risks

A good air conditioner can improve indoor air quality, but old units may sometimes cause or intensify allergies and asthma, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common problems that can leave your family sniffling and sneezing include inadequate draining pans, contaminated ducts or filters, poor ventilation power, or other flaws that affect air quality and filtration. Older units can also have problems with mold—which we definitely don’t want in our homes!

If you have seasonal allergies, you’re probably well aware of the pollen, dander, and other allergens that fill the outdoor air every spring. Most modern, well-maintained A/C units will filter out these contaminants before they reach your indoor spaces. Outdated systems, unfortunately, just aren’t up to the task—another good reason to upgrade to a cleaner, more efficient and safer HVAC system.

Cooler Homes, Cleaner Air, Lower Utility Bills

Like our other appliances, our air conditioners only live so long. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the majority of central A/C units will last an average of 20 years. Updating your system sooner, however, could cut electricity usage by to 40%. The DOE recommends replacing old units after 10 years to reap these savings. Of course, the health and safety of your family is the best benefit of installing a new air conditioner—cutting costs on your utility bills is just an added bonus!

written by Monica Gomez

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