Air Conditioning Upgrades That Pay for Themselves

From on August 09, 2011 in Air Conditioning & Heating


It’s mid-summer again, and the heat just isn’t subsiding much. What does that mean for your air conditioner? Depending on factors like the system’s age, output and overall efficiency, it could—and does for millions of homeowners—lead to badly inflated energy bills.

What’s the solution? Upgrade your air conditioning system to a modern energy-efficient unit.

By upgrading this summer, you will:

  • Reduce your utility bill—possibly dramatically—by using less energy on a daily basis.
  • Increase your home’s resale value, plus keep the air within cooler, drier, and healthier.
  • Help recoup your initial investment (the equipment and installation) in a matter of 1-2 years for central air.

To get pricing on an air conditioning installation, click here.

Below, we’ll break down the types of units that give the most bang for your buck.


What type of air conditioning do I need?

First, know that there are a few basic types of air conditioning units. Room air conditioners and central air units are among the most popular. The differences are pretty simple. One cools a specific room, while the other cools an entire home through your duct system. Central air conditioning will naturally be a bigger investment.

Central air: a must for larger homes

If your home is 1,000 square feet or larger, installing a window-mounted unit in nearly every room isn’t only insanely impractical, it’ll certainly do NOTHING for your home’s exterior aesthetic. And while installing a window-mounted air conditioner is not recommended for most people, a central air system must be installed by professionals.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t save tons of money on central air, though. Among the state and federal tax incentives for air conditioners, there’s always ways to shave hundreds off the cost of installing a central air unit. Air conditioning pricing doesn’t have to break the bank.

Room-sized air conditioning units

Single-room air conditioners, with good ones operating between 4,000-10,000 BTUs (output), are a great option for those on a strict budget, or those with small homes. These units are also an excellent option for people who are expanding their home, but don’t want to pay the extra money to tie the additional rooms in with their existing system, or anyone experiencing fluctuating temperatures in certain rooms.

Smaller units, properly configured, will compensate for the difference. Keep the following in mind when shopping for a room-based unit:

  • The size of the room will be the most important factor in buying one. A qualified installer will be able to calculate, based on the room measurements, the right BTU and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio).
  • Don’t think that buying an extra powerful unit will work fine for a small room. In fact, it’ll be far less efficient and leave the air cold and clammy, as it cannot effectively dehumidify the air.
  • Work with your contractor and make sure that the unit has the correct BTU-rating, that it’s rated with Energy Star, and boasts a high (or ‘higher’) EER rating.

CalFinder helps you compare local price quotes

Want cost estimates from local air conditioning installers? Describe to us your project, and we’ll return a list of your area’s best contractors for easy price shopping.

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