A/C Replacement: Comparing Initial Costs With Lifetime Costs

Posted by admin on April 16, 2015, at 4:57 pm

It’s not every day that you find yourself buying a new air conditioner, especially considering how long today’s A/C systems last. But if you are in the market for new system, chances are cost is one of the most important considerations you’ll have.

There are two cost factors to consider: the initial cost of the A/C replacement and the lifetime cost of the system. Both factors play a crucial role in the amount of value you’ll get out of your new system.

A/C replacementInitial Costs

The first thing you’ll run into when comparing different A/C systems is the list price of the system itself. The upfront cost of your new A/C may depend on a wide variety of factors, including its size and BTU output, features and other options. An A/C system’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) also plays a role in its initial price. For example, systems with higher SEER ratings tend to be more expensive than those with lower ratings.

Many homeowners make the mistake of not only relying solely on the purchase price, but also assuming that a low purchase price also equals low operating costs. While the initial cost of the A/C replacement is important, this alone doesn’t give you the whole picture when it comes to long-term ownership and operation. For that, it’s important to look at the lifetime costs of the A/C replacement.

Lifetime Costs

In addition to the upfront costs associated with purchasing an A/C replacement, there are also lifetime costs to consider. These generally encompass the cost of maintaining the system throughout its life span, along with the energy costs associated with operating the system.

For example, a system with a high initial cost may have low lifetime costs due to its energy efficiency and low cost of maintenance. Conversely, a system that offers spectacular value due to its initial price may wind up costing you more in maintenance and energy consumption over the next decade or two.

In order to get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to consider a system’s lifetime costs in addition to its initial price tag. This will help you avoid making mistakes that could impact your home comfort and economic value for years to come.

Factors to Consider

Shopping for a new A/C replacement can be tough, especially if you’re looking to get the most value from your new system at a reasonable initial cost. Here are a few factors that play a key role in both initial and lifetime costs:

  • A high-quality, energy-efficient A/C system is likely to cost more than your typical low-budget air conditioner due to higher-quality components and construction. Such systems are also likely to use the latest in HVAC technology, such as two-stage compressors and variable speed blowers.
  • Durability is another important factor to consider, although it’s not immediately apparent when looking at a system’s initial cost. High-quality components often deliver the best durability and longevity, whereas the lower-cost components found in most value-priced systems may not offer the same durability.
  • Maintenance costs and frequency also depend on the quality of the A/C system components. For instance, systems fitted with quality components don’t require as much maintenance as a standard air conditioner, making them more affordable to operate over the long run in spite of their higher price tags.
  • Your lifetime energy costs also depend on the quality of your cooling system. Value-priced systems with substandard components are more likely to consume more energy than a high-quality system with a higher initial cost.

There’s also the issue of right-sizing a new cooling system. In an effort to reduce initial costs, some homeowners may choose an A/C replacement that’s too small for their home. An undersized system seems cheaper, but it’ll actually use more energy and experience more wear and tear than a correctly-sized air conditioner over the long run. Making sure your system is the right size for your home is especially critical for lowering lifetime costs and maximizing overall home comfort.

Learn more about Henscey Electric, Heating & Air Conditioning’s A/C replacement options, or contact us today at 888-718-7144 to schedule an appointment!

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