Air Conditioner Shopping | Air Conditioner Prices & Costs

Air Conditioner Shopping | Air Conditioner Prices & Costs

As the cool months of spring start to give way to the oppressive heat of summer, you may want to consider looking around for a new air conditioning system. Air conditioners have become a necessity for many homeowners, but shopping for them can be an increasingly difficult and complicated process. The industry has become more and more technical. Without proper preparation and planning, you could easily choose the wrong system, leading to less efficiency and more expensive energy bills.

Instead of being confused by the vast array of brand names, rebates, and special offers for air conditioners, you should focus on the following four factors that will have the most impact on your decision-making.

1. What type of HVAC project are you interested in?
Install Central AC    
Repair Central AC   
Install Central Heating   
Repair Central Heating   
Install Boiler/Radiator   
Repair Boiler/Radiator   

2. How soon would you like to begin your HVAC service?
Immediately     Within the next 6 Months   
I'm not sure   

3. Do you own your home?
Yes     No

4. Please enter your zip code
Please enter zip code! Please enter valid zip code!

Air Conditioner Shopping | Air Conditioner Prices & Costs

Air Conditioner Shopping

1) Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER)

This rating comes on all central air units, measuring the efficiency of the model on a scale of 10 to 16. A higher SEER system is more efficient and inevitably more expensive. Although the initial expense is greater for higher rated units, you will also be receiving longer warranties and lower utility and maintenance bills in the future.

Lower rated systems will have shorter warranties, higher operating costs, and a shorter lifespan. Any air conditioners that have a SEER that is lower than 10 are considered obsolete. Do not be fooled by companies that offer steep discounts for lower rated units. The money that you save will, most likely, be used for repair or replacement in the near future.

2) Matching Your Living Plan

When making an air conditioner purchase, you should match the model to the amount of time you intend to stay in your home. If you are planning to move within one to two years, you may not want to invest in a highly efficient air conditioner. If you plan to stay for a longer period of time, it may be worth the extra money that you spent.

An energy efficient unit will save you money on utility and repair bills while you live there, but will not necessarily increase the overall value of your home when you decide to sell.

3) Comparing Warranties

Warranties that offer coverage for longer time periods often mean that you are receiving a better air conditioning unit. A manufacturer has a lot of confidence in its product if it is willing to warrant the parts and labor for up to 10 years. Often times, you can transfer the warranty to a new homeowner with a nominal fee.

You should be wary of offers from contractors for "in-house" warranties. This means that the contractor will repair parts in the air conditioner over a certain time period, however this warranty only covers that specific contractor's services. If they go out of business, your warranty will be wasted.

4) Choosing a Contractor

Choosing a contractor for servicing your air conditioner is extremely important. A properly installed and maintained system will last longer and run more efficiently, regardless of the model that is purchased. Make sure to check the contractor's license and insurance information. Speak with the company's references and former customers to ensure that they were happy with the service they received. Take time to sit down with the contractor so that you can have each and every one of your questions answered.

Purchasing a new air conditioner can be a difficult and daunting process. With proper planning and education about all of your options, you will be able to make a smart and correct choice that is perfect for your home. In this way, you can maintain a cool and efficient household, without being forced into a decision that you don't want to make.

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