Is it time to replace your air conditioner? If it’s already 10 years old and you noticed lately it’s requiring frequent repairs, it’s time to buy a new unit. The resulting energy savings and improved performance will be worth it.
How much does a new AC unit costs? You can already get a quality split type AC for $1,500 to $2,500 (+GST). Aside from improved energy efficiency, additional modern features such as quiet modes and WiFi connectivity will make the purchase worth it.
How much can you save in electricity bills?
Modern and high-efficiency air conditioners demand 20% lower energy consumption. That effect is more pronounced when it’s the unbelievably hot summer days when you need the AC running all day and all night long.
In addition, up to 50% of your electricity bill could be coming from your air conditioner. That’s why a modern AC makes a significant difference to your monthly utility bills (hundreds of dollars each month for 10-15 years).
Repairing an AC, is it still worth it?
A single repair may require $80 to $140 per hour of labour cost (+GST). The per hour rate depends on your location, the job’s difficulty and whether it’s a residential or commercial facility.
The total repair costs may depend on any or all of the following factors:
- Difficulty of the repair job (e.g. requires special expertise)
- Amount of time required to complete the repairs
- The replacement parts needed (especially if it’s the compressor)
To get a more accurate estimate, it’s recommended to request quotes from different AC technicians and compare the prices. The estimated repair costs may largely vary depending on the company you’re dealing with.
As mentioned earlier, an old unit (especially when it has undergone a few repairs for the past few months) may need to be replaced. The cost of repairing it may not be worth it versus buying a new one. For example, you might have already spent at least $1,000 for the repairs (or the AC technician gave you a quote around that range). It’s advisable then to buy a new unit instead. It’s also the case when the compressor needs to be replaced. The compressor is expensive which is why many technicians recommend purchasing a new air conditioner.
How to buy the right air conditioner for your home
If it’s more practical to buy a new unit, here are the important things to consider before you make the purchase:
- What’s the size of your room? (also consider the ceiling’s height)
- Does it get a lot of sunshine?
- Will the room be used often and will there be a lot of people using it?
- What are the most popular brands?
- Will the unit operate quietly?
- Does the unit have smart energy saving features?
It’s recommended to take note of those things so you can make the best purchase and gain significant energy savings in the long term. For instance, installing an AC with low capacity (e.g. 3.5kW) may not be enough to cool your large room sufficiently. The unit just doesn’t have the ability to optimally cool the room. In addition, you might need to turn on the highest settings (or the compressor will work harder) to keep the room cool. This could result to wear and tear and shortened lifespan of the unit.
Aside from capacity and room size, it’s also good to consider the unique condition of the room. Does it get a lot of sunshine? Are there 2 or more people using the room (more people means more heat in the room)?
It’s also recommended to stick with popular and strong brands such as Daikin, Samsung and Panasonic. Aside from credibility and quality, finding replacement parts will be easier in case the unit breaks down. In addition, these brands usually offer a more favourable warranty.
How much does an AC installation cost?
Rough estimate is from $60 to $140 per hour. The total installation cost and duration may depend on the following:
- Your location
- The AC model you’ve purchased
- Ease of access to your property and the area where the unit will be set up
- Is it for residential or commercial application?
Some companies though include the total installation cost as part of the package when purchasing the AC. This reduces the complication and makes the offer more attractive. The company will take care of the installation without you worrying about additional costs.
Depending on the unit and installation difficulty, the whole job might just last for a few hours (including the testing). If it requires 4 hours, the estimated amount for installation might be up to $560.
Different trades are also required to complete the work. For instance, licensed electricians need to install the necessary wiring and master control panels. Take note that the electrical connections are as crucial as the unit. Any failures in the electrical network may harm the air conditioner.
The total installation cost may vary from one technician to another. It’s recommended to gather at least 3 quotes before choosing an installer. In addition, consider the complete packages offered by companies (with AC installation included). Consider the cost of AC unit itself and add the potential installation cost. This extra calculation and effort could mean savings of a few hundred dollars upfront.
What if you’re planning to relocate?
Some individuals and families have doubts on buying a new AC unit because they have plans of moving out. Perhaps it’s because of retirement, career objectives and lifestyle changes. They’re thinking of the additional expense related to re-installing the air conditioner.
Fortunately, some companies now also offer free re-installation services (if you bought the unit from them). They can advise you of the best and safest way to disconnect your system. Then, their technicians can re-install the unit and even include the additional pipings and fittings at no extra costs.
This makes it easier for customers to purchase a new AC unit. There will be fewer worries and lower expenses down the road. Instead of opting for repairs, people will be more confident and decisive in buying a new and more energy-efficient air conditioner.
Other reasons you should buy a new AC
Aside from improved energy efficiency and long-term cost savings, many people now replace their old AC because of the following:
- Additional features such as quiet mode (may result to better sleep)
- Smart energy saving features (e.g. lower power setting when there’s minimal activity in the room)
- WiFi connectivity (easily change the settings through your smartphone)
- Autoclean function (periodically prevents bacterial growth)
- Modern, sleek and compact design of newer AC models (blends in perfectly with modern home interior designs)
In addition, some people don’t want the interruptions and inconveniences that come with frequent AC repairs. Often, old ACs may break down when you need them the most (e.g. temperature outside is 32℃). The heat lingers even through the night which makes people have a hard time sleeping.
For your peace of mind and better sleep, a new split type air conditioner is your best ally. Its reliability (given that it’s a quality unit appropriate for your room) will help you fall asleep easily without worrying if it breaks down in the middle of the night.
Do I really need a new air conditioner?
If your old AC frequently breaks down or it’s at least 10 years old, your best option is to buy a new unit instead. Modern units have higher energy efficiency and they have additional useful features.
You can buy a new unit for $1,500 to $2,500 +GST. This computation may or may not include the installation service. In case you relocate, you might also get a free re-installation service (also the piping and fittings are free).
Instead of spending your money on frequent AC repairs, it could be more economical to purchase a new unit. If you pick the right AC (under a strong brand), you’ll realise long-term cost savings which may amount to thousands of dollars through the years.
If you require further competent advice on which AC to choose for your home or apartment, contact us today here at Conduct Air Conditioning. You can also visit our FAQ page if you want to learn more about our offers and service.