Purchasing a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner
Air conditioner efficiency is measured using something called the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER rating. SEER is calculated by measuring an air conditioner’s cooling output over the cooling season and dividing it by the energy the unit used in watts per hour. Higher SEER ratings mean better efficiency, and modern units typically have a SEER that ranges from 13 to 21.
The major benefit of a high-efficiency air conditioner is that it takes less energy to operate, and this will translate to great savings on your monthly energy bills. Although you may pay more upfront for a unit with a better efficiency rating, you will recoup this cost over time.
So how do you know if you’re buying a high-efficiency air conditioner? There are a few resources you can use, including the ENERGY STAR logo and the EnerGuide label. An air conditioner sporting the ENERGY STAR logo will have a SEER of at least 14.5 and will have been tested to ensure it meets efficiency and performance standards. The EnerGuide label isn’t a guarantee of high efficiency, but it will tell you the SEER rating of a particular air conditioner and show you how it compares to similar models.
Factors that Impact the Cost of Your Air Conditioner
As you’ve seen, there’s a large price range for air conditioner prices in Cambridge, and this is because there are many factors that determine the final cost of a cooling system. To help you get a better idea of what you might expect to pay for a new air conditioner, here are some of the most important factors that will influence the cost:
Brand and model: Air conditioner manufacturers fall into the economy, mid-range, and premium brands, with mid-range and premium brands being more expensive than economy units. If you’re on a budget, then you might want to stick to economy brands, such as Keeprite, instead of a premium brand like Carrier.
Size and cooling output: The size and cooling output of the air conditioner is another important determiner of cost. For example, a small home or apartment might only need a 1.5-tonne air conditioner that could run about $2,800, whereas a larger home might need a 4-tonne air conditioner that would cost around $3,800.
Energy efficiency: A general rule of thumb is that the more efficient an air conditioner is, the more expensive it will be. However, it’s important to remember that a higher SEER unit will be cheaper to operate, so you have to weigh the long-term versus short-term costs.
Where you live: There are many ways location can impact air conditioner prices. Things that could make your purchase more expensive include if you live in a rural area versus an urban one, if there isn’t a lot of HVAC competition in the area, and if there are special licensing regulations in place.
Rebates, promotions, and tax breaks are a great way to save money on your air conditioner purchase, and these are sometimes available from the government, through local initiatives, or directly through the manufacturer or supplier.