5 Unique Ways to Cut Costs on Air Conditioning Upgrades

From on July 25, 2011 in Air Conditioning & Heating


Air conditioners and professional installations don’t come at one set price. Learn how to lower your costs on everything from equipment to labor to taxes when considering an air conditioning upgrade. We’ll help you get multiple estimates, at no cost, from local air conditioning installers.

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How Much Can You Save with an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner?

The answer is a lot. Benefits of an upgraded system include: up to 25% more efficiency (per Energy Star), reducing output by up to 40%, and saving up to 20-35% on utility costs.

And if you’re like 1 in 10 homeowners in California, your air conditioning system is not up to snuff. A poor air conditioning system fails to cool, wastes energy day in and day out, and hikes your electric bill substantially.

But there’s hope yet. Here are five ways to save on your A/C bill this summer.

#1 - Tax credits and rebates: Energy Star is one of the best places to get information regarding state and federal incentives on new or upgraded air conditioners. For example, many Energy Star central air conditioners are eligible for a $300 tax deduction.

#2 - To get the best rate, shop and compare different air conditioning units. You can compare quality installers by clicking here.

#3 - An air conditioning installer worth his or her salt will do everything to find you the right system or upgrades to your existing one, plus help you determine any applicable manufacturer’s rebates or incentives to buy discounted “discontinued” models.

#4 - Don’t get a system larger in BTU outpout than needed. As a rule of thumb, take the square footage of your home (or the space being cooled), and multiply it by 35 to get the right BTU. For example, 1,200 sq.ft x 35 would necessitate a 42K BTU unit. Since there’s more to the equation, though, a skilled installer will best determine the correct type of unit and its air conditioning costs.

#5 - For smaller homes (less than 1,000 square feet) or apartments, consider room air conditioners. They generally use a lot less energy and may more affordable than new central air systems.

Simple Ways to Cap Energy with an Upgraded A/C System

A new or upgraded air conditioner will help you better manage your energy usage and substantially reduce utility costs. One rated by Energy Star is almost always a surefire bet. Also, consider the following methods:

  • Appliances that produce a good amount of heat (e.g. dryer, dishwasher) should run mainly at night or in the evening, for obvious reasons.
  • Replace all incandescent bulbs in your home with either florescent (good) or LED (best) bulbs.
  • Anywhere there’s an opening to the outdoors is a possible escape route for cooled air. Check places like the attic, in between door and window sills, and small crawlspaces to ascertain any points of leakage.
  • Ensure, if possible, that the HVAC ducts in your attic (also found in basements and crawlspaces) are adequately sealed. These ducts reside in spaces that aren’t cooled.
  • Keep heat-producing items (anything from a recently-used vacuum to a bright lamp) distant from the thermostat.
  • Change the A/C filter as often as required, if not sooner.
  • Minimize the Sun’s exposure inside by installing energy-efficient, coated replacement windows with a low light-admittance rating (VL rating on new window stickers). ‘Low-E’-rated windows are an excellent bet.

Renew Your Commitment to Saving Energy and Spending Less Money

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