Air conditioning is the perfect way to turn a sultry summer day into a pleasant one. However, escalating energy costs comes in the way of keeping your air conditioner on for longer time. So, does this mean you suffer in the sticky weather? The solution actually lies in finding cost effective and energy efficient cooling solutions.
If you need to air condition an expansive room or the whole house, then it becomes more significant to choose appropriate cooling method. In general, consumers have two options, i.e. pick up three wall window air conditioners or settle for a central air conditioning unit. Now, how do you decide which is the right cooling strategy for the entire house? There are few factors to be considered.
Compare Power Usage
In general, a central air conditioning unit uses more energy than a window unit. A 2.5 ton central cooling unit uses approx. 3,500 watts to keep a 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot home cool. On the other hand, a window system uses energy ranging from 500 to 1440 watts. If you are thinking of installing the central cooling system then include furnace costs too. In order to spread cool air throughout the house, a furnace blower is also needed. This automatically enhances energy expenses.
Unit installation Cost to be Included
When it comes to finalizing an air conditioner, considering only energy costs is not enough. Purchase price and installation cost of the central air unit is clearly much higher than the window unit. You can always do a little calculation to verify the fact. Divide the purchase price and installation costs by estimated number of months you might use it. This brings out the true cost of having an air conditioner. Add monthly utility bill to it and the real picture emerges, which might not appear that presentable for a central unit!
Proper Maintenance Matters Too
So, you think you have covered the entire expenses by considering the purchase price, installation costs and energy bill? Then you are wrong! For the central cooling, maintenance matters a lot. You might have installed an energy efficient unit; but, if the duct is full of holes or poorly insulated, then that affects the entire system’s efficiency. Automatically, cooling costs go up too.
When you pick up a central air unit give special emphasis on proper insulation of ducts. A regular inspection and maintenance routine is highly advisable. In comparison, a window unit runs fine with occasional cleaning/checking, may be yearly once.
While it can’t be denied that the central unit costs more, it is undoubtedly the best and easiest way to cool three or more rooms.
A good idea is to research and compare different cooling alternatives. Even better is to talk to a HVAC specialist. An expert guidance would undoubtedly help in picking up the most appropriate cooling option for your home.