Like all things eventually, you’re air conditioner will run out of time. Air conditioners, when treated well and maintained properly, are loyal machines that will provide you with the cool and comfortable air you need to make it through the hot summers in central Texas with your sanity intact. But even treated with the utmost care and attention to detail, regularly replacing air filters and scheduling professional maintenance checks, air conditioners won’t last forever. Most models have a generous lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on a number of factors including the brand, model, and how old the technology is.
What this means is that someday, maybe far off, maybe very soon, you’ll need to start thinking about air conditioner replacement, and all that involves, from the shopping, the prices you can expect and afford, the type, brand, and model, the size. One big factor in air conditioner shopping that many people don’t think about is how much a difference can be made based on when you choose to shop for an air conditioner. This tip of the day will be dedicated to that fact. We’ll look at what factors make certain times of the year better than others for Austin air conditioning shopping and deal-hunting.
Time to Buy
Now, before we get into this, you may be thinking: what does it matter when the best time to purchase an air conditioner is? Won’t when I shop be decided for me just based on when my current air conditioner decides to kick the bucket?
The common misconception voiced here is that there will be no time between knowing you’ll need to replace your air conditioner soon and absolutely needing the replace your air conditioner immediately. The fact of the matter is that most air conditioners don’t just give out completely all at once. It’s a slower process than that, due to the fact that air conditioners reach the end of their lifespan due to very slow and gradual wear and tear due to accumulating use over the years, not some built-in date of obsoleteness.
This means that there will be many signs that you’ll need to replace your air conditioner soon long before it becomes unusable. The biggest sign you should be on the lookout for is simply keeping track of its age. Your average air conditioner has a lifespan of around 15-20 years. You can get even more specific than that though if you look at the manufacturer specifications of the model of air conditioner you have. Try to find the model of your air conditioner and look either in the user manual or online to see if there’s an even more accurate and specific estimate of your AC’s lifespan. Check up on this information every once a while and once your air conditioner starts to reach the end of its predicted lifespan start thinking about replacement.
The other big signs of an air conditioner reaching the end of its life are more frequent repair needs and a gradual lowering of energy efficiency. As an air conditioner gets older it will naturally break down and have problems more often. It will also start to lose some of its energy efficiency, meaning it will be draining more electricity and causing you more in your monthly energy bills. Both these old age-related problems are going to be frustrating and will end up costing you money, meaning that once you notice that your air conditioner isn’t performing as well as it did, deciding to replace it soon should be a no-brainer.
For these reasons, you’ll likely be able to decide just when you shop for an air conditioner before it becomes a necessity, meaning its worth knowing what times are better than others to purchase a new air conditioner.
Winter and Early Spring are King
According to most experts, we’re just now entering the best time of the year to purchase a new air conditioner. The colder months, especially winter and early spring, are generally considered to be the most prudent times to go shopping for a new air conditioner. It’s the best time to be in the market for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at some.
Less Buyers Means Better Deals
One fairly consistent feature of the colder months is that less people are going to be looking at air conditioners at this time. Simply because it isn’t the time people need or are thinking about air conditioning in Austin, the winter and early spring generally have significantly less people looking at buying a new air conditioner. This works in your favor for several reasons.
With fewer buyers in the market, central air conditioning installation is less in demand and HVAC companies may offer lower prices as well. Professionals are readily available to devote time to make sure you choose the correct system and the unit is installed properly. When it comes to this point, professionals in HVAC being less busy and thus more able to spend ample time on you, you can be even more specific about the best time to shop for an air conditioner. That’s because without a doubt the spring and fall are the times when HVAC professionals are the least busy. There’s the least amount of stress happening to furnaces and air conditioners at this time meaning technicians aren’t being called on as often. So the early spring is by far the least busy time and most prudent time to shop for a new air conditioner if you want to have the best chance of getting quality service and detailed advice.
Less Heat Means More Research Time
Another benefit of shopping for a new air conditioner before you need to run said air conditioner on a daily basis is that you won’t feel as rushed. You’ll be able to do all the research you need to make the absolute best decision because you aren’t in need of that sweet cool air very much in the winter and early spring.
By making your air conditioning purchase before you need it in the heat of summer, you have more time to research exactly which type of air conditioning system will work best for you. You can request multiple evaluations of your home and multiple estimates from different companies if you choose. When air conditioners break down unexpectedly in the heat of summer, homeowners feel rushed to decide on a unit because they need cooling quickly. Save yourself from making a hasty purchase decision by buying an air conditioner before your current one breaks down
This means you’ll have all the time necessary to go through thorough testing as well if you choose to shop for a new air conditioner in the early spring or winter. You’ll be able to ask your HVAC contractor to perform a cost analysis of the different systems you are considering. A cost analysis shows the real costs of your new air conditioner from day one, which includes purchase and installation expenses, and projected energy and maintenance costs. A cost analysis also shows you at what point a higher-efficiency air conditioner system pays for itself in energy savings.
Other Benefits of Shopping in the Off-Season
The off-season when it comes to air conditioning means the colder months. The off-season for HVAC in general is the spring and fall. These are the times when HVAC professionals have the least amount of work on their hands and your air conditioner and furnace are going to be doing the least amount of work in your home.
One benefit of choosing this time to shop for a new air conditioner is that you don’t actually have to have it installed at the same time as the purchase is made. You can make your purchase in the off-season and schedule the installation at a later time, when the weather may be more ideal. With your project planned in advance, the installer you choose has the time to make custom recommendations for your home and air conditioning needs, with less chance of mistakes being made when the job is done.
More time between the purchase and the installation means more time to prepare. Purchasing a new system now instead of waiting will prepare you for the next cooling season, and set you up for lower cooling bills. If your air conditioner is breaking down on you often, this can be a telling sign that its time may be up soon. If the repair costs for your current system equal 25% or more of the price of a new system, now is the time to upgrade. Buying a new air conditioner now can save you the time and hassle of having to do so quickly and suddenly in the future when your system gives out for good.
Air Conditioner Shopping and Air Conditioning Repair in Austin
Air conditioning in Austin is a part of life. That makes the end of the lifespan of an air conditioner all the more pressing of an issue. But shopping for a new air conditioner doesn’t have to be a big hassle. When you notice your air conditioner reaching the end of its lifespan you’ll likely have a little time before you absolutely need to replace it. That means you can decide just when you jump into the market and start shopping for a new one. In this tip of the day, we went over some of the benefits of choosing to do this in the late winter and early spring.
When you do decide to look for a new air conditioner, you’ll be in a much better position to make the right decision if you have the right professionals on your side helping you. AC Express is an Austin AC repair company that can help you out there to great effect. Our service area includes all around the Austin area, from Hutto and Manor to Lago Vista and Taylor. If you need anything from maintenance to replacement to AC repair in Austin, don’t look any further. Call today!