Replacing Your A/C? Make Sure to Compare First Time and Lifetime Costs

When replacing your A/C system, it’s important to consider both “first time costs” and “lifetime costs,” giving a higher priority to the latter. The old saying, “you get what your pay for,” definitely applies when you’re replacing your A/C system.

What Are First Costs?

First time costs are what you pay for when purchasing a new air conditioner and then having it installed. Be wary if the cost of either of these things seems surprisingly low. A cheap A/C system from an off brand is probably not as well-made as a name-brand system that has consistently positive reviews.

Additionally, a quick installation may skip over essential steps that include Manual J software. This is used to determine the cooling load of your home and is a necessary step to take when recommending a correctly sized A/C. Both of these factors – a cheap system and a shoddy installation – could cost you a fortune over the lifetime of your air conditioner. This is where lifetime costs come in…

What Are Lifetime Costs?

Lifetime costs combine the operating (utility) costs of your central air conditioning system with the cost of repairs and maintenance during its lifespan.

If you purchase a quality, high-efficiency A/C, the lower energy cost of running your system, in just a few years, will more than pay the extra cost you spent on the quality system. A better-made system, as long as you make sure it receives regular preventative maintenance, will also last longer and require fewer repairs than the cheaper air conditioner.

Spending extra money for a quality installation can also pay dividends during the life of your A/C. An air conditioner that isn’t properly installed or is too big or too small for your home will struggle to reach its stated efficiency ratings the first time it’s turned on. As a result, it will continue to underperform throughout its service life. An oversized A/C is especially problematic — frequent on-and-off cycles waste energy, provide unbalanced cooling, wear out parts and provide inferior capacity, dehumidification and air filtration.

For more advice on how to replace your A/C, please contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. today. We serve the Greater Kansas City area.