Is Upgrading To An Energy Star Compliant Air Conditioner Worth It?

Make sure to get annual maintenance on your HVAC systems to uphold your warranties.

Is Upgrading To An Energy Star Compliant Air Conditioner Worth It?

Is Upgrading To An Energy Star Compliant Air Conditioner Worth It?

12 March 2015
, Articles

Energy efficiency is often touted as an important aspect for any home appliance. It is certainly an important factor, but is it the most important factor of all? There are reasons to upgrade and reasons not to upgrade. The decision can be difficult to make. In order to make that decision with greater ease, consider several important factors.

Is Your Air Conditioner Running Properly?

One of the biggest considerations when it comes to deciding to upgrade your air conditioner is how well the current one runs. Have you noticed that your energy bill has slowly increased and your air conditioning capacity has lessened? If so, it might be a good idea to upgrade. For instance, if your air conditioner no longer cools your house completely or efficiently, it may need repairs. However, it could also simply be in a downward mechanical spiral.

The value of the unit versus typical repair costs will eventually come to a point where it is actually more economical to install a new unit. It is a good idea not to install a new one as long as the old unit is working properly, but if it breaks down or begins to have efficiency issues, upgrade it. Be certain to choose an energy efficient one, if this is the case. Energy efficient central unit models are 15% more efficient overall, and window units can be 10% more efficient.

Typical central air conditioning units will cost around $3000 to $10000. Window units can be found for a much lower cost, and the price of repairs for units of that type may exceed the actual value of the unit! Upgrading to an energy efficient model can alleviate the headaches of frequent repair hassles while potentially improving both the capacity to properly cool your home and lower the expense of using the unit. 

How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?

Upgrading to an Energy Star compliant model can reduce your energy costs at least 20%, but possibly as much as 40%. Generally speaking, the average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is up to 20 years. They can work well beyond this point, but at around the 10 year mark it is usually a good idea to have the unit replaced if there are any issues evident. The efficiency of air conditioners at this point can drop quickly due to being beyond the halfway point in their usable work life.

Will Energy Efficiency Be Worth It In Your Home?

It may seem like a no-brainer, but energy efficient appliances will not always be as helpful as they might seem. While an energy efficient model can save a lot of money on the energy bill, the savings might not occur if you do not have a home that is optimized for energy efficiency. If the air conditioner has to run constantly to keep your home cool, due to poor insulation or unreliable duct work, much of the purpose of energy efficiency is lost. You may want to consider having your home tested for energy efficiency. Air leaks alone can cause up to a 30% loss in energy efficiency when trying to heat and cool your home.

If you are concerned about how well a new energy efficient air conditioning unit will work for you, consider hiring a professional HVAC technician to come inspect your premises. Many of them can test your home for energy efficiency as well. If you are fortunate, you may even be able to find a company that does a full-service check that includes not only your air conditioning efficiency, but your other energy uses such as appliances and even plumbing issues. Some companies have both HVAC technicians and professional plumbers who can check your home for its true efficiency rating. Click to read more about this topic.

About Me
It's More Important Than You Think

I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.