04-08-2013 01:41 PM
Consider Upgrading your A/C System this Spring to Help Save You Money in the Long Term
By Gina Perry
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old—and if it endured a long, hot summer last year—it may make sense to replace the system in advance of this year’s cooling season.
Will a New Air Conditioning System Save Me Money?
I live in Atlanta and my power bills are around $180 per month. My electric utility, Georgia Power, has found that running an A/C system eats up about half of a typical power bill. So, looking at my circumstances, if I could save 30 percent with a new system, it would save me about $27 each month on my eclectic bill, or $324 per year.
For more precise estimating on how much you could save with a new system, check out this savings calculator provided by ENERGY STAR®. This interactive spreadsheet allows you to compare anticipated savings with a new ENERGY STAR-qualified air conditioner vs. a conventional unit.
What Should I look for to get the Best Bang for the Buck?
When shopping for an energy-efficient A/C system, pay close attention to the unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), special features and whether the unit incorporates variable speed technology.
- SEER is used to express the efficiency of an air conditioning unit in cooling mode. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment. Most new homes with central air conditioning systems often come equipped with a standard 13-SEER unit. When you’re looking at replacement options, try to find ones that are 15-SEER or higher.
- Newer air conditioning units include advanced diagnostics, and some next-generation cooling systems will be able to connect with other systems in a home to determine added efficiencies.
- Variable speed technology means that your air conditioner can operate at several speeds based upon the home’s cooling needs. The result: you’re not using unnecessary energy to run your air conditioner at a higher speed than needed.
How else can I Save Money on a New System?
Now is a great time to consider upgrading to a new, more efficient system due to some federal tax credits. Through the end of this year, homeowners can receive up to $300 in federal tax credits for the purchase of a high-efficiency air conditioner or electric heat pump, or up to $500 in federal tax credits with purchase of eligible complete heating and cooling system.
Additionally, some companies offer financing options for a new system, which means you can pay for it in manageable monthly installments. For example, Home Depot offers up to 12 months special financing on installed heating and air conditioning purchases. Find out more here.
While the upfront cost may be scary, a new, energy-efficient air conditioning system will definitely save you money each month on your utility bills. Let our professionals do the work for you. Learn how to get your new AC system installed by The Home Depot.