Cooling equipment is a big ticket item, but the expenses associated with a new A/C go far beyond the “first cost” or sticker price you see on different brands and models. When you’re shopping for a new air conditioner, it’s vital to look at lifetime costs as well to get the maximum benefit of your investment over the 15 to 20 years of the equipment’s expected service life.
To help you determine the best A/C replacement for your needs, it’s important to consider all the variables that impact first and lifetime costs.
Efficiency Affects First and Lifetime Costs
The first cost of different A/C models is directly tied to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating — more efficient units are more expensive. SEER ratings also affect lifetime costs, since efficiency impacts the energy costs to run the A/C. Some other critical influences on lifetime costs are quality, durability, energy savings and maintenance.
Key Lifetime Cost Factors to Consider
Your HVAC contractor can help you compare various models within your budget and give you insight into the approximate operating costs. Be sure to discuss the following costs factors too:
- Quality – Generally, pricier equipment is higher quality and offers components not available on basic models, such as two-stage compressors that are built to last longer and consume less energy.
- Durability – More expensive A/Cs are constructed for durability. This can lower the number of repairs needed and save you money over the equipment’s life span.
- Energy savings – Highly efficient units may cost more up front, but that extra expense is offset by their advanced technologies. The energy savings provided by features like better coil designs and variable-speed air handlers can more than compensate for the added cost.
- Maintenance – Investing in a pricier, more durable unit that withstands day-to-day strain and wear can also reduce what you spend on maintenance over the years.
For more information, check out United Air Conditioning’s A/C replacement solutions or call us at 727-470-6803 for expert help!
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