high efficiency air conditioners

High Efficiency Air Conditioners Save Money…Right?

  • August 11, 2015
  • By MR COOL

High efficiency air conditioners are great, right? They must be. Everyone from HVAC manufacturers to contractors to the US government is talking about them. Surely, all these folks wouldn’t be talking about high efficiency air conditioners if they weren’t all they’re cracked up to be, right?


High Efficiency Air Conditioners – To Be or Not to Be?

We could just tell you yes or no, but that seems a bit pointless. After all, why should you believe us? We’re trying to sell HVAC product the same as the next guy. Let’s start somewhere other than a binary answer.

You and everybody else in the world wants air conditioning. Summer is great, but heat sucks. A lot. To beat the heat, you buy an air conditioner. It’s amazing! Then you get your first bill. After you come to your senses, you pay it, because it’s better than sweating out of orifices you didn’t even know you had.

High efficiency air conditioners, the theory goes, are supposed to deliver effective air cooling, but reduce your utility bill at the same time. Do they do that or are they just overrated high tech toys?

Upfront Costs, Long Term Expenses

Nothing in life is free. Except, I guess, oxygen, but that’s only because no one has yet to figure out a good way to charge you for it. So, yeah, you’ve got to buy an air conditioner, then pay your utility bill for the electricity you need every month to run the thing. You know all that. What you might not be thinking about is how much those long term expenses can add up and up and up.

Think about it like this. Suppose you buy a toaster for $20. It’s cheap, and, hey, who doesn’t love toast? However, every time you want to use the toaster you have drop a quarter in a slot. Some days you don’t want any toast, so you keep your quarters. Other days you and the family eat a couple piece of toast each, and you’re out a few bucks. It won’t take very long before the cost of using the toaster more than exceeds the $20 you paid for it.

An inefficient, outdated air conditioner is the same deal. Yeah, it’s cheap to buy, but whenever you want toast, or cool air in this case, you’re going to pay money. You don’t have to take the money out of your wallet right then, and so most people tend to forget about those costs.

You shouldn’t.

Let’s say you spend around $150 per month on utilities. Comes out to around $1800 a year and around $27,000 in 15 years. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

What if you bought a high efficiency air conditioner that saved your only $30 a month. That’s not very much, right? Well, it’s around $5,400 over 15 years. The average A/C unit will last 15-20 years.

So, do we think high efficiency air conditioners are worth your time and attention?

Only if you like money.

4 thoughts on “High Efficiency Air Conditioners Save Money…Right?”

  1. I am Off grid in a 500 sq. ft. tiny house . How is this going to work? I Do have wood heat and about 3kw solar power.

  2. We are constructing an RV garage / shop 36′ long x 30′ wide x 18′ high ceiling height with insulated roll up doors in Middleton Idaho. What do you recommend with respect to zoning / system sizing?

    1. We would probably recommend a 36k BTU DIY Ductless mini-split, because of the high ceilings. Since you live in a colder climate, you may want to go with even more BTU power, like two 24k systems.

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