Generally speaking, the more something costs, the more time and effort you should spend selecting the item. That rule even applies to central air conditioning systems, which is why it’s important to differentiate between initial, or first time, costs and lifetime costs of an air conditioner replacement. So what’s the difference?
First Time Costs
The initial cost is a combination of the purchase and installation costs of an AC replacement. They’re usually bundled together. If these costs are relatively low, you’re more than likely setting yourself up for higher lifetime costs.
Lifetime costs not only factor in the money you spend on the system long-term, but the energy savings you enjoy over the life of the system. They include the first time costs and month-to-month energy costs, as well as routine maintenance and repairs over the life of the new system.
Factors that help determine lifetime costs include:
- Energy efficiency – At purchase, you’ll probably be asked to decide what level of cooling efficiency your new air conditioner will have. This is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Generally speaking, the higher the SEER, the higher the initial cost and the lower the electric bills over the life of the system.
- Durability and quality – If you buy a low-cost, off-brand central AC, you’ll probably get exactly what you pay for – a cheap system with substandard parts and materials that will break down more frequently and end its useful service life two or three years before a quality-made air conditioner.
- Installation – If your A/C replacement installation isn’t done properly, you may end up getting an over- or undersized system, which will result in a variety of performance and efficiency issues. If refrigerant isn’t properly charged or the airflow isn’t correctly adjusted, you’ll also have problems down the line.
For more information on an air conditioner replacement in your Chicago area home, check out Gartner Heating & Cooling’s HVAC solutions, or give us a call at 847-965-9645.
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