Can I replace just my outdoor air conditioning unit?

I hear this type of question being asked almost every day from customers.

  • “My indoor unit is working fine, can I just replace the outside unit?”,
  • “The inside looks new even though its XX years old, why should I replace that too?”,
  • “Isn’t it cheaper to just replace the broken unit?”

Along with everything else today, technologies change and improve over time. So while changing just one piece or the other may work as a temporary solution, it could quickly turn into a much larger problem, costing you more time, money & sweat. Introducing new equipment to older equipment can inhibit its operation which can lead to operational issues and decrease efficiency and comfort. Air conditioning systems are designed to function with specific compatible components. Old air conditioning units, made with older components, are not designed to function properly with newer components. Plus, if your outdoor unit goes bad, your indoor unit has had just as much wear & tear.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to match newer Air Conditioning components with old units for several reasons:

  1. New units are designed to achieve a much higher energy efficiency that dated models.
  2. Adding new more energy efficient coils with older coils and reduce the cooling capacity and increase energy consumption.
  3. Newer Air Conditioning units have TXV (thermal expansion valves) which is a component that enhances control of refrigerant by limiting movement of refrigerant though the system, this limitation can cause an older compressor to breakdown.
  4. There are NO ratings for mix-matched equipment.
  5. No reputable company will perform this type of job, much less warranty the work.

At first, replacing only an air conditioner outdoor unit may appear to be a bargain. That is, until you consider the lower efficiency, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership associated with single-unit replacement. It may cost more to replace an entire system, but this gives you more efficiency, reliability and comfort.

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