A/C Replacement: Comparing First Time and Lifetime Costs

A/C Replacement: Comparing First Time and Lifetime CostsWhich is more important in pricing an A/C replacement: first time costs or lifetime costs? The answer is both. Many homeowners make the mistake of only considering first time costs when purchasing a new air conditioner. That decision can end up costing them a lot of money in the long run.

Differences Between First Time and Lifetime Costs

First time costs refers to all the costs involved with purchasing and installing the air conditioner. This can include the cost of the equipment, labor to do the job, as well as the costs of modifying your home and upgrading the ductwork, if necessary.

Lifetime costs refer to the costs of running the air conditioner over its expected lifetime. This includes energy bills, making necessary repairs and maintaining the equipment.

Both costs are critical for making the right choice for your new A/C equipment. Equipment that costs less upfront is usually lower in quality and can cost more to run over its lifetime. The exact opposite is also true. Equipment that costs more upfront is usually higher in quality and costs less to run over the course of its life.

Factors to Consider to Determine Lifetime Costs

There are five specific factors you should keep in mind when judging the potential lifetime costs of A/C equipment:

  1. Quality – Higher priced units generally meet higher quality standards and efficiency ratings. These systems typically offer advanced technologies that increase the equipment life while lowering energy costs.
  2. Durability – A/Cs manufactured with quality components are expected to require fewer repairs lowering total cost of ownership.
  3. Maintenance – Lower quality units usually call for more maintenance over time. With a higher quality model, two annual system maintenance visits will usually do the job.
  4. Energy efficiency – High-quality A/C equipment is much more energy efficient; this is reflected in higher SEER ratings.
  5. Time of payback – How long are you going to live in the house? Most comparisons between the lower efficiency lower cost units and the higher efficiency higher cost system reach breakeven between 5 – 7 years with average life expectancy around 15-18 years.

If you need an A/C replacement, contact the HVAC pros at Powers Heating & Air. We offer quality air conditioning solutions to our neighbors in Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Senoia, Tyrone and surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Maryna Pleshkun/Shutterstock”