When you’re choosing a new air conditioner for your home, try to overlook the sticker price and think more about the lifetime costs of an A/C upgrade. The average system lasts between 12 and 15 years, and longer with annual maintenance. When weighing the lifetime costs against the purchase cost, considering the operational costs is almost always a better way to select a new system. Air conditioners with higher energy-efficiency ratings cost more, but use less electricity, lowering the ultimate cost of these systems.
Upgrades for air conditioners in our region that have short- and long-term payoffs include:
- Variable-speed blower motor: Removing the humidity from the air in the summer is as important as cooling the air. The variable-speed motor runs more quietly and slowly, which takes more humidity from the air. It takes about 10 minutes of running time for the air conditioner to start removing humidity, so the longer period that the variable-speed motor runs removes more water vapor. Drier indoor air feels cooler, so you can even set the temperature higher, saving electricity, along with the electrical savings inherent to variable-speed motors.
- Dual-speed compressors: These are another feature to consider to lower the lifetime costs of an A/C upgrade. The motor for the compressor doesn’t run at full speed unless temperatures are extreme. You save money almost daily throughout the cooling season.
- Filter sensors: An air conditioner that tells you when to change your filters can save you money, both with the operation and the maintenance. The filters are easy to forget, but make a big impact on your electric bills and system life. It’s easy to forget to change the filter, but these sensors alert you when the airflow into the air handler is slowing. Too much dirt can actually cause compressor failure, which is an avoidable repair or replacement by keeping filters clean.
At Smoky Mountain Heating & Air, we can walk you through your savings when you’re evaluating the lifetime costs of an A/C upgrade. Contact us to learn more.