Buying a new air conditioner is expensive, but there are times of the year when it’s cheaper to buy or install one. What is the best time to buy an air conditioner? That’s what we’re going to answer here.
Buying a unit at the wrong time can cost you thousands of dollars more than buying one at the right time. If you can afford to wait, it could save you a bundle. Here’s what you need to know.
The Best Time to Buy an Air Conditioner
There’s actually two times to consider getting the best price for an air conditioner. One is when the unit is cheap, and the other is when installation is cheap. The best time to split the difference is spring.
Air conditioning units are cheapest during the cold months just before the manufacturers release their new models. At that time, you can get the best discounts because retailers want to make room for the new ones.
However, winter is a terrible time to install any kind of AC that needs a professional. Most are quite busy dealing with heater issues and will charge extra for AC installation. Spring is a slow season, so you might be able to get a better deal doing it then.
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What About Central HVAC Units?
If you need to install or replace a central HVAC unit, it will always be cheaper when there’s new construction or you’re doing a renovation. Accessing everything needed to do the replacement is harder afterward.
Otherwise, time your replacement like other air conditioners. Shoot for a spring replacement, or fall as a second-best option. Most central HVAC units last around 10-15 years before they get too expensive to repair. Use that as a gauge for when to call use for a replacement inspection.
Holding on to an older unit can cost you more in the long run because efficiency decreases over time. Your energy bill will keep getting higher until the unit breaks down completely. It’s better to replace your air conditioner at the best time than to wait until after a breakdown.
How Much Will it Cost to Replace My Unit?
Estimates vary, and it depends on how large of a unit you have and how complex your ductwork is. For a central air conditioning unit, you could end up paying around $4000-$6000 for replacement on average, though it could be less if you buy in the off season.
Ductless mini-split systems cost around $3000, but they only heat or cool a single room. However, they’re so efficient they can pay for themselves pretty quickly thanks to the high temperatures in our service area.
The cheapest option is window units, but they are the most inefficient and it’s easy to get the wrong size. You also need wiring that can support handling the load you’ll put on your home’s electrical running several window units. Expect to pay around $300 or more to get one properly installed.
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If you need to replace your systems, wait for spring if you can, fall if you can’t, and avoid summer and winter completely to get the best rate. Ambient Edge can help you with an install any time of year though, and members of our VIP Club can get $650 off their installations. Call us for more details on that plan.