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When is the best time to buy an air conditioner
Seeing the temperature rise can be a good reminder to buy an air conditioner, but it’s not really the best time to make that purchase. As with many services and products for your home, you are more likely to save money with air conditioning sales during the off-season. Nationally, it costs on average $ 5,650 to purchase and install a new central air conditioner.
Low: $ 3,800
Medium: $ 5,650
High: $ 10,000 and more for complex duct systems
Beyond the season, cooling costs are also affected by the type of unit, the square footage to be cooled and the existing duct system. Alternatively, there are cheaper air conditioning units, such as swamp coolers, window units, or mini-splits, which can cool your home on a tighter budget.
When is the best time to sell air conditioners?
Especially for central air conditioning sales that require installation by an HVAC professional, the best time to call is fall through spring. And, while you might think winter is the best time because of the lower competition, that’s not true; HVAC professionals are busy working on heating units during the winter months, which can result in a longer wait and higher expense than in the fall or spring.
By working against market demand, HVAC professionals are more likely to be available to install the central air conditioning unit in a timely manner. They may also be more motivated to offer a sale or a good deal. Large HVAC companies may also be able to pass manufacturer savings through these colder months, which benefits companies looking to maintain semi-stable profits throughout the year.
While you may not need a professional to install another type of air conditioning unit, such as a window unit or swamp cooler, prices are historically lower during the cooler weather months. One of the reasons for this is that air conditioners, like cars, are regularly available in new models. Distributors want to dump the previous year’s models during the off-season to make room for upcoming versions, which can be a good thing for people looking to buy air conditioners.
What type of air conditioner is right for you?
With several types of air conditioning systems, some are better suited to certain homes than others. There is also a wide range of costs for air conditioners with window units on the low end and smart or geothermal central air conditioners on the high end. Determining what type of air conditioning system is best for you will also be part of the question of the best time to buy an air conditioner.
Central air conditioners
Also known as duct systems, these units can be quite expensive to renovate in homes that don’t have ducts to use central air conditioning. For this reason, the best time to buy and install a central air conditioner is when you are building a house. If you’re looking to replace a central air conditioner in a home with existing ductwork, it’s best to take advantage of off-season purchases. On average, it costs $ 5,650 to install central air conditioning.
Window air conditioners
The cheapest option, window air conditioners are the best for cooling one room at a time. Because these units only need a window rather than a complete duct system, you can purchase them anytime and don’t need professional installation. However, for the best prices on window air conditioners, you’ll still want to shop during the off-season or during certain holiday sales. On average, it costs $ 300 to install a window air conditioner in a room, with savings if you tinker with the installation.
Compact, wall mountable, and ductless, mini-split air conditioners are popular options for people who want to add air conditioning to the home. Although mini-split units only cool the room they are mounted in, they are relatively easy to install. On average, it costs $ 3,000 to install a ductless mini-split system to cool a house.
As an evaporative cooler, swamp coolers are best suited to climates with hot, dry air. Good for humidifying and cooling the air, these are efficient air conditioner options. However, they can be loud and unsightly. On average, it costs $ 2,500 to install a swamp cooler to cool a house.
Among the air conditioning system options there are also a variety of unit prices which depend on efficiency, area that can be cooled and other factors. If you are working with an HVAC professional to install air conditioning, learn about your options and make sure you get multiple quotes.
What are other good times to buy an AC unit?
Ideally, you can anticipate the need to buy an air conditioner and buy one when the price is right, not when it stops working unexpectedly in mid-July. Most central air conditioners can be expected to last 15-20 years, although their efficiency decreases over time. If your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan, start researching ahead of time to give yourself the most bargaining power.
To increase the chances of getting a good deal on an air conditioner, consider buying when you are:
- Replacement of the heating system in your home and can consolidate
- Build or renovate your home
- See the warning signs of your existing unit that it might need to be replaced soon
What are some other ways to save money when buying an air conditioning unit?
If you’re ready to buy an air conditioning system out of season when you don’t desperately need a new one, you are already off to a good start. By obtaining several quotes from HVAC professionals and finding the unit that suits your needs, you can be sure that you are getting a good deal.
Beyond the lowest possible price on the unit, other ways to save money when buying an air conditioner include questions about tax credits and discounts available for highly efficient models and if you can get free upgrades such as smart thermostat. Also remember that the more expensive, more efficient can pay off in the long run with your utility bills if you plan to stay in the house for years to come.
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