An AED, Automated External Defibrillator, is an important part of any emergency safety station whether in a workplace, restaurant, hotel or around the home. With simple instructions, anyone can use an AED, potentially saving the life of someone suffering from cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats.

By delivering an electric shock, an AED returns the heart to its normal rhythm, giving time for paramedics to arrive while avoiding cardiac arrest.

When looking to purchase an AED, one of the first things you will need to decide is whether to purchase a new or a refurbished unit.

New AEDs

New AEDs are untouched with unused pads and fresh batteries. Most new AEDs have a warranty of five to ten years, depending on the manufacture, but have a lifespan of thirteen in most cases.

These units, like refurbished AEDs, are tested rigorously and are ready to be used upon arrival. New AEDs can be prohibitively expensive, but the owner enjoys the full life of the product.

Refurbished AEDs

There are a number of reasons an AED is labeled as refurbished.

Many AED suppliers offer trade-ins, allowing owners to exchange their older models for newer ones or receive an incentive from a manufacturer to change brands.

These units are often unused and still in their original containers. Some are demo or training units that have been returned to the manufacturer after light use.

Regardless of its origin, once the old AED is received by the supplier, the unit undergoes extensive testing before joining the refurbished line up.

First, the unit is traced back to its authorized dealer to ensure authenticity. Then, each part is inspected by an on staff specialist who also provides the AED with any software upgrades, part replacements and new batteries. They also trade out any items that have been used.

It must next pass a defibrillator analyzer test, delivering three shocks that fall within FDA specifications. The entire unit is cleaned and put in a new case.

These are sold at about half the price of a new unit. Refurbished units do, however, have half the life expectancy of their new counterparts with most coming with a three year warranty.

Just like a new unit, you can sign up with the manufacturer to alert you when pads, batteries or the unit itself needs replacing.

If you're purchasing an AED for a heavily trafficked area, such as school, business or community center, it is best to go with a new AED. The unit will most likely go unused and forgotten for a very long time and the warranty will still hold.

Refurbished AEDs, however, are a great, affordable way to get a defibrillator into your house or business today, offering buyers an economical way to provide an extended measure of safety. There is no substitute for having lifesaving technology on hand today.