After a couple of hot summers, you are ready to invest in a central air conditioner, or maybe a heat pump, or, well, something that makes your entire home more comfortable. So, with all of these options, what do you buy? How much should you pay? Are air conditioners really all that different? Cool answers to these hot questions follow so that you can buy exactly what you need.
Heat Pump vs. A/C
Surprisingly, both heat pumps and central air conditioners can last the same amount of time when and if properly maintained. The longest a heat pump typically lasts is about fifteen years, but they are usually kaput after about a decade. A central air conditioner easily lasts just as long, although they might last a few years longer. Both require about the same amount of space for their external components. The biggest difference is that heat pumps work a lot better where it is hot and humid all year long, while central air units work best where summertime is short and winters are long.
The cost for these appliances is very close, too. Central A/C units run about two to five grand, depending on the size and BTUs of the unit and the area in which you live. Heat pumps start at the same cost, but they can skyrocket up to twenty-thousand dollars or more. Overall, most people select the central air units because of the easy predictability of cost.
Installing any cooling appliance for the first time will take time. About one to three hours is typical, and the technician will need access to your basement or utility closet. He or she will also need to know where your electric fuse box is located since a lot of electrical wiring has to be connected.
Yes, A/C Units ARE Different
Central air units are very different. Some are able to cool enormous homes with just one machine. That is just too much machine for the average home that has around 1,600 square feet. Other machines can cool much smaller homes, and they only have to run for a few minutes every hour to keep the entire home constantly cool. There are also energy-efficient machines which run quieter and less often to avoid using excess energy. Consult with your HVAC technician to see which units are a really good option for your budget, the size of your home, and your cooling needs.