Best Time For Buying Air Conditioner – Forbes Advisor

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When is the best time to buy an air conditioner?

Seeing the temperature rise can be a good reminder to buy an air conditioner, but this isn’t exactly the best time to make that purchase. As with many services and products for your home, you are more likely to save money selling air conditioning during the off season. Nationally it costs an average of € $5,650 to purchase and install a new central air conditioner.

Low: $3,800
Average: $5,650
high: $10,000 plus for complicated piping systems

Off-season air conditioning costs are also affected by the type of unit, the square footage of space to be cooled, and the existing duct system. Alternatively, there are cheaper air conditioning units, such as swamp coolers, window units, or mini splits, that can cool your home on a smaller budget.

When is the best time to sell air conditioners?

Especially for central air conditioning sales that need to be installed by an HVAC professional, the best time to call is during the fall through spring. And while you may think winter is the best time due to the lowest competition, that’s not true; HVAC professionals are busy working on heating units during the winter months, which can contribute to longer wait times and higher costs than during the fall or spring.

Working against market demand increases the likelihood that HVAC professionals will be available to install the central air conditioning unit in a timely manner. They may also be more motivated to offer a sale or bargain. Larger HVAC companies may also be able to pass on manufacturer savings during these colder months, benefiting those that want to maintain semi-stable revenues year-round.

While you may not need a professional to install another type of air conditioning unit, such as a window unit or swamp cooler, prices are historically lower during cool weather months. One reason for this is that, just like cars, air conditioners are regularly available in new models. Distributors want to clear out the previous year’s off-season models to make room for upcoming versions, which can be great for those looking to buy air conditioners.

Which type of air conditioner is right for you?

With multiple types of air conditioning systems, some are better suited to certain homes than others. There is also a wide spectrum for the cost of air conditioners with window units on the low end and smart or geothermal central air conditioners on the high end. Determining which type of air conditioning is right for you also plays a role in when is the best time to buy an air conditioner.

Central air conditioning

Also known as duct systems, these units can be quite expensive to retrofit to homes that don’t have ductwork to run central air conditioning. For that reason, the best time to buy and install a central air conditioner is when you build a house. If you’re looking to replace a central air conditioner in a home with existing ductwork, it’s best to shop out of season. On average it costs $5,650 install central air conditioning.

Window air conditioners

The cheapest option, window air conditioners are best for cooling one room at a time. Since these units only require a window rather than a complete duct system, you can purchase them at any time and do not require professional installation. However, for the best prices on window air conditioners, you’ll still want to shop during the off-season or during certain holiday sales. On average it costs $300 to install a window air conditioner in one room – with savings if you do the installation yourself.

Channelless Mini Split

Compact, wall-mountable and independent of a duct system, mini split air conditioners are popular options for those looking to add air conditioning to the home. Although mini split units only cool the room in which they are mounted, they are relatively easy to install. On average it costs $3,000 to install a ductless mini split system to cool a house.

Swamp cooler

As an evaporative cooler, swamp coolers are best suited to climates with hot, dry air. They are good at humidifying and cooling the air and are efficient options for air conditioners. However, they can be loud and ugly. On average it costs $2,500 installing a swamp cooler to cool a house.

Among the options for air conditioning systems, there are also different unit prices that depend on efficiency, square footage that can be cooled, and other factors. If you are working with an HVAC professional to install air conditioning, ask about the options available to you and be sure to get multiple quotes.

When are other good times to buy an AC unit?

At best, you can anticipate the need to buy an air conditioner and buy one when the price is right — not when it unexpectedly stops working in mid-July. Most central air conditioners are expected to last 15 to 20 years, although efficiency decreases over time. If your device is nearing the end of its life, start researching ahead of time to give yourself the most bargaining power.

To increase your chances of getting a good deal on an air conditioner, consider buying when you:

  • Replacement of the heating system in your home and can bundle
  • Build or renovate your home
  • See warning signs of your existing unit that may need to be replaced soon

What are other ways to save when buying an air conditioner?

If you’re willing to buy an air conditioning system out of season, if you’re not desperate for a new one, you’re off to a good start. By getting multiple quotes from HVAC professionals and shopping around for the unit that’s right for your needs, you can be sure you’re getting a great deal.

In addition to the lowest possible price on the unit, other ways to save when buying an air conditioner include asking about tax credits and discounts available for high-efficiency models and asking if you can get free upgrades, such as a smart thermostat. Also remember that more expensive and efficient can pay off on your energy bills in the long run if you plan on living at home for years to come.

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