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Can I Save Money by Buying a Used Air Conditioning System?

air-conditioning-unitThis is a question we sometimes hear from customers who are looking to lower household costs. It makes sense for people to inquire about purchasing used AC equipment since so many other expenses for a home can be reduced by buying used. A car for example. Or furnishings. So why not buy a “previously owned” air conditioner, especially at times when people are looking closer at their budgets?

Well, there are many reasons not to buy a used air conditioner, and not a single HVAC contractor recommends it. Buying used when it comes to HVAC in Plattsburgh, NY is a major money loser in the short and long term. Below are a few reasons why:

No Warranty

The manufacturer’s warranty for most air conditioning systems is invalid if the system is moved. Even if you buy a central air conditioning system that’s only a few years old, it won’t come with a warranty. This leaves you with no protection in case of a manufacturer’s fault that requires an extensive repair or a replacement. You’ll end up paying much more the keep the system running as a result. If you buy a new air conditioning system, you’ll start off with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty—which is worth the cost of a new system all on its own.

Numerous Repair Problems

An air conditioner needs the most repairs during the second half of its service life. You can usually expect an air conditioner to have few to no repairs for the first five years you have it (provided you have it professionally maintained annually). If you start off with an aged AC, you’re already looking at making repairs early on, and you’re certainly getting less value from the AC.

Questionable Energy Efficiency

We mentioned the importance of annual maintenance. Not only does this help prevent the majority of repairs an AC may need (as much as 85% of them), it also helps the air conditioner keep its energy efficiency rating for longer, usually for 95% of its service life. But if you buy a used AC, you have no idea if it has been well-maintained or not, and therefore you can’t trust the listed efficiency rating (SEER). The system will probably drain more power than it should and cost far more to operate.

The Refrigerant Problem

All new air conditioning systems are designed to use R-410A refrigerant, sometimes referred to as Puron, a brand name. An older air conditioning system may use R-22, a.k.a. Freon, which was the standard refrigerant blend for many decades. Not only is R-22 a less efficient refrigerant, its no longer available in the US as of 2020 because of a phaseout program. If you have an R-22 air conditioner and it loses refrigerant to leaks, technicians cannot recharge the unit. (Even if they were allowed to, R-22 is extremely expensive because of its limited supply.)

In summary—used air conditioning equipment is not worth it. Let our technicians handle finding you a great new system. We offer financing options to make it easier to purchase a new AC when you need one.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Arrange with our team for a great air conditioning installation.

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