Take the Stress Out of Air Conditioner Shopping

The latest AC systems are high tech marvels. Cleaner and more energy efficient, new air conditioners offer very effective cooling, a longer lifespan, and more trouble free service than older models. The life-cycle cost of AC replacement refers to the total cost of the AC system over its entire service life, including purchase, operation and maintenance costs.

First Costs

Everyone has experienced sticker shock. How you break up the upfront cost versus how you break out the payments will ease you out of shock and into a cool, efficient new AC system. Look for:

  • Rebates or Incentives. Manufacturers and local, state and federal programs offer many options for Energy Star and energy efficient systems.
  • Installation Costs. If you are looking at a direct replacement for your existing system, installation is generally uncomplicated. However, upgrading from a standard air conditioner to a high-efficiency model may involve new vents, and ductwork re-work.

Lifetime Costs

Because they represent expenses that recur over the long-term, lifetime costs are important considerations. For an AC replacement, lifetime costs are generally divided into the following areas:

  • Quality – Leading manufacturers will more often than not, offer more favorable warranty terms, reducing the risk of expensive repair or early replacement. Dealer support is also significantly better when you work with a Factory Authorized Dealer.
  • Durability – The average central AC replacement will last about 15 years, give or take a few. Certain air conditioner parts like the compressor are so costly that early failure of that single component may necessitate replacing the entire system. Premature failure is an additional risk of purchasing a lesser quality air conditioner.
  • Maintenance – All air conditioners require annual preventive maintenance to achieve manufacturer’s specs. It’s also a requirement to keep the warranty valid. Beyond basic tasks like changing the air filter , most AC maintenance is beyond the scope of the average DIY weekend warrior. Review the maintenance plans and the warranty requirements to ensure your HVAC contractor has a service plan that meets your product warranty.
  • Energy savings – Energy costs are directly related to an air conditioner’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. Standard efficiency A/Cs have a SEER rating of 14, while high-efficiency units offer SEER ratings that range above 20. The higher the SEER, the lower the long-term operating costs. A unit with a high SEER will begin paying back that steeper sticker price with energy savings from day one, but will ultimately depend on local climate and length of the summer cooling season, as well as the overall efficiency of the home.

Learn more about WA Air Conditioning’s AC replacement solutions, or contact us at 936-594-5603 for answers to all your home comfort concerns.

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May 10, 2015 3:20 pm