Many people don’t know that many cities offer huge incentives and rebates for installing modern, high efficiency systems such as boilers, furnaces or central air units. This means that not only would you save money monthly on your utility bills, but you would actually get most of the upfront installation costs back making the decision to switch a no brainer.
If you’ve ever wondered if you should upgrade from a window AC unit to central air, there are many reasons why the latter is much better. If you currently use more than 3 window air conditioner units in your home, you are literally throwing money out the window vs. getting central air installed.
It’s true that a window unit is actually pretty good at handling a single room, but the same can’t be said of larger spaces. When you have several working in tandem, the costs can quickly get out of control. This is because a central solution is far more efficient in these situations.
In addition, air quality with central air is superior to window units. While both do have filtration systems, there’s just no comparison as to which is better. If you have allergies or asthma, central air will be the easy choice.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of central air systems is that they are very expensive. As previously mentioned though, you get a lot of efficiency for your dollar. When handling an entire house, you may actually save money due to the reduced monthly costs versus multiple window units. In addition, you will have added value to your home if you ever decide on selling.
Other advantages include:
If your peace and quiet is valuable to you, central air is a no brainer. Perhaps infamously, window units can get fairly loud and clattery. A central system has far less noise issues, and usually tops out with a hum when it kicks into gear. This may not be an issue for everyone, but is something to consider.
This might not seem so obvious since central air units are fairly large and need a dedicated space. However, you can have that area be somewhere out of sight, such as an attic or a basement. If you have a unit that goes outdoors, something like a fence can conceal it as well. This keeps your air conditioning out of sight and out of mind. Meanwhile, window units will always be visible wherever they are, and will take up valuable wall space.
3. More Smart Options
At this point in the game, both window and central air units have options that can tie into your smart home. However, there’s simply more options for central AC, which brings with it a whole host of benefits. This allows you to put your air on a schedule, or access it remotely when nobody is home. By keeping it off when it isn’t needed, you’ll start raking in the savings through your energy bill.
4. Combos with a Furnace
If you’ve ever been shopping for central AC, you may have seen them being sold along with a matching furnace. Because they both rely on ducts, this lets you have both cooling and heating on one system.
5. HVAC Zoning
One of the most obvious advantages of multiple window units is that different rooms can be different temperatures. However, central air can have similar systems with HVAC zoning. This allows you to set temperatures to certain zones of your home. In turn, people with different temperature tastes can be placated while even saving some money.
Cost and Process
If you want things done the right way, the first thing to do is to hire a contractor. They will survey the area and be able to tell you what needs to be done as well as how big a unit you need. The entire process is a little bit more complicated than one might think, so getting an expert is critical.
Another thing to consider is how long installation will take. This is especially relevant if you wait until the last minute and want air conditioning right away. These factors include:
• Size of the unit
• Location of the unit
• Type of unit
• How much ductwork needs to be done, or if the entire thing needs to be replaced
Based on these considerations, you could be looking from anywhere from half a week to even a whole month.
Don’t Forget Maintenance
When planning any kind of home improvement, it’s important to factor in the cost of regular maintenance into the cost. It might seem like a bother, but there are several big reasons why this is absolutely necessary.
1. Less need for costly repairs
You might think maintenance is a waste of money, but it could cost you big. Paying for regularly scheduled maintenance is much cheaper than having to repair a major breakdown. Numbers show as much as a 95% decrease in a chance of breakdown if you take care of your unit.
2. Lower energy cost
As an AC gets older, maintenance helps your cooling stay efficient. Otherwise, you could be losing money from it working harder than it needs to. It’d be like not fixing a leaky faucet.
3. Longer Unit Life
A big repair bill isn’t even the worst-case scenario. You might find yourself having to replace the entire unit if you don’t do regular checkups.
4. Keep your Warranty
Most extended warranties require you to pay for regular maintenance. In these situations, you’ll have your warranty to help out if the unit does break down and you’ve kept up with checkups.
Air conditioning is an investment, and one that is definitely worth your time and money. Just be informed of the benefits and what you should do to keep everything running properly. That way, you’ll get the maximum amount of comfort for the best price. Even with the maintenance costs, central air conditioning will actually save you more money in the long run than using 3 or more window air conditioner units in your home.