The summer is about to heat up and you may already be switching from heat to air conditioning. However, if your air conditioner was not working as well as you would have liked last year, you may be considering buying a new one. Before you panic at having to make a large investment, let us relieve you of some of the sticker shock. Today’s technology has vastly improved both the function and efficiency, so owning and operating a new air conditioner may be more affordable than you think.
Check out these 5 ways to save money on a new air conditioner.
1. Look for financing options.
Many companies offer financing options that allow you to break up the purchase price into monthly payments. This may help you afford more efficient equipment that will save you even more money on energy costs over the life of the unit.
2. Choose high efficiency equipment.
A general rule of thumb is to purchase the most efficient air conditioner you can afford, because that efficiency will pay off over the life of the system. Look for Energy Star ratings that often come with rebates and other incentives. Depending on the age and efficiency of your old unit, you may find that when you combine the cost of the new air conditioner with monthly savings, you are actually spending less.
3. Get the right size.
A reputable contractor will accurately measure the size of the unit your home needs for optimal performance based on multiple measurements and factors — not just square footage. This is key to ensuring that your air conditioner will perform properly and without excessive wear and tear. Improperly sized air conditioners will work harder, use more energy and break down sooner.
4. Place the outside unit on the north or east side of the house.
Locating the unit out of direct sunlight, but with plenty of room for air to flow freely (about 2 feet on each side and 4 feet of clearance on the top). This will prevent debris from creating clogs and causing mechanical failures, and also ensures that a sufficient supply of fresh air is reaching the unit. Keep plants and shrubs neatly trimmed and make sure the area remains free of leaves and other debris.
5. Maintain the AC on a regular basis.
Protect your investment with regular maintenance every year and call your HVAC professional when issues arise. This will go a long way toward keeping your new air conditioner in great shape for many years to come, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon.