You might be surprised, but the best time to upgrade your AC is coming up: Winter!
Yes, winter is a great time to upgrade your AC – for a number of reasons:
Common Sense Point 1
In the summer months, according to Diane Ritchey, editor of Home Appliance magazine, “people feel the heat and they start to buy. The stock gets depleted, the demand is higher and so is the price. When cool weather comes around, most people just aren’t into air-conditioner purchasing, so the demand drops, as does the price.” Then is good time to upgrade your AC.
Common Sense Point 2
Just as you wouldn’t think of trying to change a tire while your car is moving, it doesn’t make sense to upgrade or replace your air conditioning when you need it to be cooling.
Common Sense Point 3
If the weather’s changed and you’re no longer sweltering in the heat, you’ve got the advantage. Because you don’t need to upgrade your AC or replacement, you won’t be pressured into buying something you don’t need or spending more than you should. You have the time you need to get bids from different companies, as well as the time you need to get referrals and ensure that not only are you getting the best price, you are assured of the quality of work.
By purchasing in the off-season, you can more easily schedule the installation at a later time, allowing more time for your potential installer or contractor to evaluate your home and needs – and ensure that you get what you need. Expect your AC technician to take the time needed to size the cooling system based on the size and layout of your house, amount of insulation, windows and shade – even the number of people and appliances in use in the house can affect the unit you need. Expect them to take the time inspect your home’s duct system for air leaks and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturer’s specifications.
Ask for and get written, itemized estimates – but keep in mind that the lowest price may not be the best deal. If a system is not efficient, your monthly energy costs will be higher. And finally, ask for a written proposal specifying project costs, model numbers, job scheduling, and warranty information.
Money Sense Points
Replace or upgrade your AC system can be a major expense, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s also no doubt how much it can cost to keep limping along with an outdated, inefficient system, either. Your air conditioning system can be eating up as much as half of your utility bills, not to mention the cost of repairs to keep it going.
A more energy-efficient unit is not only more environmentally friendly, it is much more friendly to your pocketbook. For example, upgrading from a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)10 to SEER 16 can save up to $400 a year. Even upgrading from SEER 13 can save you about $150 a year.
Lower utility bills and no more paying for repairs make good economic sense, and when it’s time to move up and sell your house, the higher resale value due to the upgraded, more efficient system will certainly be welcome!
Time is On Your Side
Now that it’s the off-season for air conditioning, you have the time you need to get the best deal on a replacement or upgrade your AC. Your contractor has the time to evaluate your home, and determine the best system for your needs. And his installation team has the time to make sure that your installation is done right.