Have you ever asked yourself this question, “When Should I Get a New Air Conditioner?”
Four Simple(ish) Steps
Okay, let’s get real here. The HVAC market is big. There are a ton of options, and too much choice is confusing for someone who isn’t an industry insider. How do you know what to buy? How do you know when to buy? How do you know if you even need a new air conditioner in the first place?
Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take to get to the right answer.
Step #1 : How’s Your Efficiency?
Every air conditioner in the U.S. is rated for efficiency according to its SEER score.
There are two things you need to know about SEER:
- 1. Higher is always better.
- 2. The U.S. residential minimum is 13 SEER.
Chances are that the air conditioner you’re using right now is 13 SEER rated. If your unit is a few years old, it’s possible it could be even lower. When you’re paying too much for air cooling, upgrading to a higher SEER unit will save you money.
Step #2 : When to Buy
Savvy shoppers know that you buy winter coats in summer and swim suits in winter. Most people don’t do that, so the merchandise tends to be priced lower.
Air conditioners are the same way. The worst time to buy is in the summer. The best thing you can do is plan ahead, and try to buy a new air conditioner in early spring, late fall, or winter.
Step #3: Are You Comfortable?
If your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling like it should, the problem may not be in your head.
Your system could have a refrigerant leak or it could just be wearing out. A loss in cooling effectiveness is a good indicator that you need to start looking before the unit fails completely.
Step #4: Where to Buy
Local HVAC contractors will sell you an air conditioner, but they have been known to mark up their prices.
Okay, maybe not a little. A 100% markup is pretty typical. Which means that a $2000 wholesale unit can run you around $4000 before you account for installation costs.
The best way to save money is online. There are a lot of wholesale retailers who will ship units to you with minimal markup.
When Should I Get a New Air Conditioner?
Hopefully we’ve helped you along your way. If you still have questions, ask us in the comments or drop an email our way.
Above all, if you still ask yourself, “When should I get a new air conditioner?”, remember our 4 simple steps.