Central Air: How Much Does It Cost Me?
Are you tired of melting away during harsh summers? Have you outgrown your ceiling fan? Do you and your family avoid household tasks because it’s too hot to do them? If you answered yes, to any of these questions, you are not alone. You may already have a window AC unit, but you should know that it is not as efficient as a central AC unit. You may be avoiding an AC installation due to the frighteningly high cost to install it and the increased energy bills. What you don’t know is that a central HVAC unit can save you money in the long run.
Max’s Fix-it 24/7 Heating & Air, an HVAC company out of Charleston, SC, helps out Charleston neighbors on a daily determining the actual cost of installing an AC unit. Our local professionals will highlight the best ways to keep installation costs and energy usage under control.
What is Central AC?
When we talk about a central AC unit, we’re talking about general, whole-home air conditioning systems. You could either have a split system or a package system. A split system has an indoor evaporator coil and an outdoor condenser coil. Whereas a package system only has an outdoor unit.
This is usually ideal for homes that don’t have enough space to have both indoor and outdoor units. AC units will have warm air blow over a cold evaporator coil and eventually cools your home.
How Much Does Central Air Conditioning Cost?
There is no definite installation cost, as different AC companies will charge different amounts If you live in an older home, you may need ductwork installed, and this will cause the price to increase. The price of your AC unit also depends on the size of your house. Naturally, if you have a smaller home, it will cost you less to have a smaller AC unit.
Window air units cost a few hundred dollars, which is much lower than central AC installation costs. However, your energy bills for a window unit will be much higher than that of the central AC units. This once-off installation fee is a long-term investment. If your AC unit is installed correctly, you won’t need to replace it for up to 20 years. That is, of course, if your AC unit is well-maintained. Hire Max’s Fix-it 24/7 Heating & Air to install your AC unit properly so that it can serve you for a long time.
Window AC vs Central Air Running Cost
A window air unit can use up to 1500 watts to run while the typical average-sized central AC service will use up to 3,500 watts. This means that if you run more than two window air units in your home, they will cost the same or more than your central air.
Many homeowners find that their digital thermostats connected to the central AC service allow them to regulate the temperature of their home on a schedule rather than continuously running like a window or wall units.
Now that the installation cost is out of the way, you may be worried about the monthly costs. Here are a few things that will increase your monthly electricity bills.
When you live in a humid climate such as Charleston, SC, your AC unit may have to work harder to reach a low enough humidity in your home. You may want to reduce your thermostat setting or install the dehumidifier. Whichever way you go, your electricity bill is bound to increase. Both options require more energy to ensure that your home is cool and at an adequate humidity level.
If you have an older model, your air conditioner may use more energy. It is estimated that modern central air conditioning units can use up to 50% less energy than older AC units.
If your AC unit is too small to cool the rest of your house, it may be running for an extended period causing your electricity bill to increase. On the other hand, if the AC unit installed is too big, the higher power output will drain electricity quicker. In addition to that, an AC unit that is too big won’t remove the humidity as well as it should.
If your home is not insulated enough, your AC unit will have a harder time maintaining the indoor temperature. To keep it at a constant temperature, your AC unit may have more frequent cooling cycles.
If you have ductwork, it may be old, leaking, or clogged. Not only will this use more energy as your AC unit tries to overcome the damage, but it also wears your AC unit out quicker, bringing an AC replacement even closer.
How to Cut Your Monthly Electricity Costs
When considering an AC installation, be on the lookout for a model that is energy efficient. AC units are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio, also known as SEER. It is the relative amount of energy needed for a certain cooling output. If you buy an AC unit from a quality HVAC brand, you may even save 50% more on your energy bills.
Regular AC tune-ups will ensure that your AC unit is clear from dust and debris that will clog it and prevent it from releasing air. When your AC unit is clogged up, it works even harder to overcome the obstruction and uses more electricity.
Change Your Air Filter
An air filter should be changed monthly. If you haven’t changed your air filter in a while and you’ve noticed an increase in your electricity bill, it may be time to change it.
Don’t Wait on AC Repairs & Routine Maintenance
If your energy bills are higher than normal, contact an AC specialist to take a look. You may need AC repairs. If certain components in your AC units are faulty, they may use more energy than expected.
For Expert HVAC Assistance, You Know What to Do!
When considering an AC installation, it is always best to speak to a professional technician. They have a knowledge of the AC units available on the market today and the expertise to install them. You can’t go wrong with seeking expert advice, especially from us.
If you need a professional HVAC contractor in Charleston, contact Max’s Fix-it 24/7 Heating & Air. We have a qualified team of HVAC technicians that are equipped to take care of all your central AC needs. Nothing is too extraordinary for us.
We are a family-owned business with over 20 years of HVAC experience. When it comes to friendly service and quality work, we are your number one team of professionals for the job!