I’m sure you’ll agree: air conditioners are one of humanity’s most influential inventions, especially for those who live in particularly hot or humid countries.
It’s no secret, however, that air conditioners are expensive, and not everyone wants to pay the total price. So, you’re no doubt wondering, when is the best time to buy an air conditioner?
Quite obviously, it would be best if you aimed to purchase it during the off-season, i.e., the cooler months. So if you buy an air conditioner in winter, fall or spring, you’re more likely to get a discounted price.
It also depends on what kind of air conditioner you’re interested in buying, so with that in mind, we’ve created a comprehensive guide on purchasing your new AC!
Table of Contents
When Is the Best Time to Buy an Air Conditioner?
If you’re looking to get a discount on your new air conditioner purchase, then the best time to buy it would be during the cooler months. So winter, fall, and spring are ideal for purchasing air conditioners.
Wondering why that is? Well, quite obviously, the need for air conditioners is not felt during colder months. As such, the vast majority of air conditioner retailers end up overstocked due to low demand. So, in a bid to get prospective
AC buyers to purchase from them, the retailers discount their products.
Fall and spring are also the best seasons to hire an HVAC contractor, as they find themselves less occupied during those times and are likely to give you discounted rates.
Window Units vs. Central Air Conditioning
As we mentioned before, the kinds of discounts you can expect generally depend on what type of unit you’re looking to buy. Do you wish to buy separate window units for each room in the house, or do you want to install central air conditioning which will service your entire home?
If you’re on a budget, it’s best to go with individual window AC units. On the other hand, if your home already has ductwork alongside a forced-air furnace, then you’re better off opting for a central air conditioning system. Although the installation costs are high, the long-term savings make up.
What’s the Right Air Conditioner Size for You?
Before you decide on an AC, you’ll have to determine what size and power you wish it to have. Especially in the case of window units, it’s essential to select an AC whose power output is aligned with the size of the room it’ll be installed in.
In case you didn’t already know, the power of an AC is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher this figure, the more powerful the unit. However, the more powerful the AC, the more expensive it will be (both in purchasing and operating costs). Here’s a general idea of the correct power output for each room size.
|Room Size||Recommended Power Output|
|100-300 sq. ft.||5,000 – 6,000 BTU|
|250-550 sq. ft.||7,000 – 8,200 BTU|
|350-950 sq. ft.||9,800 – 12,500 BTU|
Consider the SEER Rating
Before you buy a new AC, it’s important to learn how to measure its efficiency. The most popular method is SEER. SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” Although a higher SEER rating might translate to a higher price, the long-term savings on energy bills are undoubtedly worth it.
You can find the SEER rating of any AC unit by dividing the cooling output during summer by the energy used during summer. The lowest possible SEER rating is 13. The ideal SEER rating for a good air conditioner is between 14 and 21.
Who to Buy From
One of the most critical decisions while purchasing a new AC is deciding which brand you want to bet on. Some brands have products suiting a wide range of incomes, while some offer longer warranties or customer service.
Moreover, some of the highest-rated brands can even offer you “smart” air conditioners!
So here are some of the best air conditioner brands worth looking into;
The American Standard name is recognized not only in the U.S. but globally. The air conditioners produced by this brand are recognized for their durability and low maintenance costs. Expect to pay anywhere between $3500 and $6000 for an American Standard AC unit.
One of the most easily named top AC brands is Carrier. With an emphasis on quality, Carrier ACs can set you back anywhere from $4,800 to $7,200. No matter your budget, the chances are you’ll find a suitable Carrier AC to fit your needs.
One of the leading air conditioner brands is Lennox. Even their 16 SEER models are highly efficient and offer environmentally conscious AC buyers many options. Expect to pay between $3000 and $7000 (or more) for a unit from Lennox.
Top Air Conditioner Models
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best air conditioner manufacturing brands, here’s a look at some of the most demanded AC models on the market. Note that these are only meant as a guide on what constitutes a good AC. Ultimately, the AC you choose comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
1. Lennox XC25 Variable-Capacity Air Conditioner
As we have discussed, Lennox is probably the most energy-efficient AC brand you will find. The XC25 is one of their most high-end ACs, with the 060 models offering an impressive SEER rating of 26.
Meanwhile, the 024 has a SEER rating of 20. Equipped with SilentComfort technology, this AC is also one of the quietest ones we have come across, producing only 59 dB of sound. If you have SunSource solar panels, you’ll be delighted to learn the Lennox XC25 can be used alongside them.
2. Goodman DSXC180361
A very popular mid-range AC model is this 3-ton unit from Goodman. With an 18 SEER rating and a dual-speed Copeland Scroll compressor, this AC’s construction is relatively uncomplicated despite its high power.
It’s also very efficient in terms of energy consumption. What’s most impressive about this unit is the inclusion of communication and diagnostic alert system which reports the AC’s performance and issues. And, of course, it lets you turn your smartphone into an AC remote control!
3. Day and Night Constant Comfort 15 Central AC CSA5
On a budget? You’ll certainly appreciate this offering from Day and Night. With a SEER rating of 15, this AC cools the air without making a racket, producing only 74 dB of sound. It even has WiFi-enabled remote control access. Although we can’t speak for its durability, it will undoubtedly serve you well for as long as it lives.
How to Save Money on AC Power Consumption
Beyond purchasing an AC of the right size and the right price, here are a few more ways to lower your electricity bills.
Draw the Curtains
It’s best to keep shades closed during the warmer months, and curtains are drawn. This prevents heat from entering your home.
Turn off the Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans in both your kitchen and bathroom (or elsewhere) suck cool air out of your home. As such, when you’re not occupying these rooms, it’s best to keep their respective exhaust fans turned off.
Turn the Temperature up
Although it may take a while to get used to, it’s a good idea to set your AC temperature a bit higher than usual. It may not seem like much, but the difference in your bills at the end of the month will surely surprise you. And why not turn the fan on to circulate air more easily?
Don’t Neglect Your AC
Yes, we’re talking about maintenance! An AC that is properly taken care of will be less likely to act up or need to have its parts replaced. So try to ensure that your AC filters are replaced and cleaned regularly.
So, when is the best time to buy an air conditioner? During the off-season. Depending on where you live, this time frame may vary, but the goal remains the same: getting a sweet discount!
And remember, the same principle can be applied to HVAC contractors. We wish you big savings and a well-air-conditioned home. Good luck!