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The Long-term Consequences of Cutting Costs on Heating & Cooling Products
When it comes to heating and cooling your home, high-quality energy-efficient products don’t need to break the bank. However, it is essential to find a balance between getting value for money and the overall costs of operating your HVAC system. Read on to learn more about the long-term consequences of cutting costs, and why you should set your sights on affordable, reliable, and ductless heating and cooling products.
Low-Budget Products Can Lead to Higher Energy Bills
Air conditioners cost U.S. homeowners about $29 billion annually in utility bills. If you are seeking ways to slash your energy costs choosing a low-budget model may not save you money over the long-term. Lower-priced HVAC products may not be as energy efficient as higher priced models due poor components and operation causing your energy bill to skyrocket. The Energy Star rating of an HVAC unit is also important to consider if you want to reduce your energy bills. An Energy Star heating or cooling system means that it is in the top 25% of all systems with regard to efficiency.
Switching to a more efficient model may be pricier initially, but you will notice significant savings on your energy bill over time. To find the Energy Star rating of your HVAC unit, check the SEER rating. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the product, and the more money you will save. The minimum recommended SEER rating for HVAC units is 13-15, and while the top-of-the-line units may offer better SEER ratings, you don’t need to spend a fortune to find an energy efficient HVAC system. Most A/C and heater systems range between 13 and 21.
Comfort Up offers many mid-budget options such as Gree or Boreal units, which have excellent SEER ratings. A Boreal Equinox Mini Split System features a SEER rating of up to 22, while the Gree Sapphire has up to a 38 SEER rating to help save you money. If you upgrade to a new unit, it’s guaranteed to be more energy efficient than a system that is eight or more years old. Consider an LG mini split heat pump that has a SEER rating of up to 21.5, or a Panasonic mini split combination A/C and heat pump with a SEER rating of up to 30.6. These energy-efficient affordable options can save you big money on your energy costs.
Higher Maintenance Costs and Durability Issues
Depending on their level of usage, most HVAC systems and units require annual or biannual maintenance. Systems used for both heating and cooling often require inspections and maintenance twice a year, but systems used for only heating or only cooling usually require an annual service to ensure they are functioning optimally. Unfortunately, the least expensive products tend to break down more often, which increases your cost of repairs and may eventually mean you’ll spend more.
If you can fix it yourself, you will likely have to order or purchase new components while spending valuable time and effort. However, due to the complexity of HVAC systems, it is recommended that you call a professional technician for repairs. Additionally, most people are unfamiliar with HVAC systems and may not understand when a problem requires simple repairs or a complete unit replacement. Full unit replacement can be expensive and a major inconvenience for homeowners, especially if the unit warranty has run out or isn’t covered by your home warranty policy.
If you want to save money on repairs and maintenance, it is worthwhile to invest in a mid-range HVAC system that uses quality components. Although the unit may cost you slightly more, the long-term savings are better than less expensive options. As one of the largest manufacturers of residential HVAC products, Gree mini split systems are simple to maintain with easy to install components. This means that you will rely less on professional technicians, and you can easily perform preventative maintenance to prolong the life and performance of your HVAC unit.
Decreased Air Quality and Health Problems
The air quality in your home is directly connected to your air conditioner. Many air conditioners, such as ductless mini splits, offer features other than heating and cooling. They also contain air filters, purifiers, and dehumidifiers, allowing them to clear the air of dirt, dust, and allergens. These features also decrease the humidity in your home to deter the growth of mold and mildew which can cause respiratory problems.
Cutting costs on these products exposes you and your family to harmful airborne bacteria and allergens, which can cause health problems. If you want to save money and still have high-quality indoor air, opt for a mid-range air conditioner and air purifier, which has components that are simple and cost-effective to replace.
A mini split system filters and purifies the air for a fraction of the price of a larger air conditioning unit and in most cases, brands like Gree and Mitsubishi will provide a standard filter with your purchase. The lifespan of a standard filter will last about one to two years and a replacement for these products cost approximately $20.00 each, so overall it’s a pretty frugal purchase. Of course an advanced filter will be a bit more expensive, priced at about $18-$30.00 for a single pack. These filters are great if you live in a home with pets, smokers or children and unlike a standard filter, these have a specific expiration date, so you won’t have to regularly clean them. However, a standard filter requires regular maintenance, which is simple to do yourself. Just remove the filter from the unit and follow the instructions to clean it. This usually involves wiping them clean with a damp cloth.
Diminished Thermal Comfort
Cutting costs on heating and cooling products also decreases your level of comfort. Thermal comfort refers to whether you are comfortably hot or cold and depends on a variety of factors such as air temperature, air flow, layered clothing, and humidity. Less expensive heating and cooling products may not regulate temperatures consistently. This temperature variance means that you may not reach your ideal level of thermal comfort with a low budget system in your home.
When shopping for HVAC units that regulate the air temperature, it is critical to consider the BTUs produced by the system for the space in your home. British Thermal Units (BTUs) are the units used to measure the amount of energy required to keep a room at a consistent temperature. You can calculate the minimum BTUs needed to heat your home with an online BTU calculator. On average, allow for 25 BTUs per square foot of your home.
You can make more informed decisions about buying an HVAC system when you know the BTUs needed for your home. While less expensive systems may offer the same overall amount of BTUs, the poor-quality components and inefficient system can affect the way that heat is transferred to a room. Choosing a mid-range HVAC system like Gree or Boreal still gives you value for money but will regulate the temperature in your home more effectively.
Low-Cost Heating and Cooling Decreases Your Home’s Value
Inexpensive heating and cooling products also decrease your home's value. Leaks or emissions, faulty components, and anticipated maintenance deter potential buyers and jeopardize a sale. You may even be required to invest in a higher-quality heating or cooling system or take a hit on the sale price of your home. Either scenario could cost you thousands of dollars.
If you are upgrading or remodeling, several heating and cooling products and systems appeal to prospective buyers. For example, ductless mini split systems and Carbontec radiant heating systems can increase your home’s value. Installing an efficient, but slightly more expensive HVAC systems such as these, not only benefits you as the homeowner but as the home seller as well!
How to Cut Costs on Heating & Cooling Products
There are several simple ways to avoid cutting costs on HVAC products. While some companies may run deals and advertisements for DIY heating and cooling installation, these can lead to problems down the line that can cost you thousands. Always do your research and have a heating or cooling system installed by a qualified HVAC professional. This can avoid problems such as a voided warranty, improper installation, and frequent breakdowns of your system's components.
Cut your energy costs even more by purchasing a unit with 0% APR financing. Comfort Up offers financing to our customers who want to improve their energy bills and cut costs with quality HVAC systems. We offer competitive interest rates so you can budget for your new HVAC system and pay over time.
Many people opt to self-install their new air conditioner because they do not want to pay for professional installation services. While this may save you a small amount of money at first, the consequences can be costly. Many air conditioner warranties are voided if not installed by a professional. A voided warranty means you pay out of pocket for any repairs or replacement during the warranty term. Repairs and replacements that are not covered by warranties can be expensive. Therefore, calling a professional for your HVAC installation services is always recommended.
Most HVAC system warranties last for 5-10 years, and certain components can be warrantied for up to 12 years. For perspective, most HVAC units are supposed to last for 15-20 years with regular maintenance and proper care. Additionally, over 90% of mini split failures are due to improper installation, not actual system malfunctions, so paying up front for proper installation by a licensed HVAC technician can save time and money.
Zoning Your Home
Purchasing an HVAC system that allows you to heat and cool individual zones is a great way to save money on your energy bills. Ductless mini splits are available in single and multi-zone systems. Single-zone systems consist of one outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit and allow you to control the temperature in the room or “zone” where the indoor unit is located.
Conversely, multi-zone systems consist of one outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor units. With a multi-zone system, you can control the temperature in each zone individually without impacting the others. Therefore, you can set multiple rooms or even entire levels in your home to different temperatures. Keeping a bedroom cooler or warmer at night, as opposed to a whole house can save you on your heating and cooling costs.
If different people in your home have different temperature preferences, a multi-zone system allows everybody to be comfortable. Opting for a moderately-priced ductless mini split or wall-mounted air conditioner can significantly improve your thermal comfort at home.
Alternative HVAC Systems
Less expensive units such as window air conditioners and space heaters may seem appealing due to their lower costs, but this is not the case. These will raise your electricity bills and are usually not energy efficient. Space heaters can also be hazardous.
Two better options are Carbontec radiant heating systems and ductless mini splits systems. These systems don’t take up space, and they are very efficient. For people looking for a new way to heat and cool their homes, Carbontec heating and ductless mini split systems can provide an energy-efficient solution.
Carbontec radiant heating is an efficient way to heat your home. It is a thin cloth installed under the ceiling or floor. It provides heat to the objects in the room, rather than the room itself. The heat is then transferred from the objects to the room’s occupants and alters their temperature accordingly. It has many advantages compared to other heating and cooling alternatives.
For example, it also acts as a dehumidifier and decreases the potential growth of mold and mildew. This increases the air quality in your home. Since it is located under the wall, ceiling, or floor, it does not take up any space in the room. While Carbontec has a high upfront cost, it is so efficient that savings are reflected immediately on your energy bill. It also comes with a 25-year warranty on maintenance and repairs.
Ductless mini splits consist of one outdoor unit (often called the condenser or compressor) connected to one or multiple indoor air handling units. They do not require the extensive ductwork of older central HVAC systems. This makes their installation and maintenance much easier. Like Carbontec radiant heating, some mini splits have higher upfront costs. However, they operate at such high levels of efficiency that the energy bill savings offset the higher installation cost.
Many are compatible with smart thermostats that are controlled with smartphone applications. This enables homeowners to set the timers and control the temperature when they aren’t at home. Ductless mini split systems come in cooling and heating combinations, making them a viable option for any home at any time of year. Radiant heating and mini split systems are an efficient investment that can bring you savings over time.
While the short-term savings on some heating and cooling products make them more appealing, there are usually hidden costs that do not arise until later. By opting for cost-effective and efficient products, you’ll enjoy a better heating and cooling experience while dealing with far fewer problems and breakdowns.
Most homeowners do not know much about HVAC products and their relative costs. At ComfortUp, we are available to answer any questions you may have about the costs of heating and cooling products. Our team of professionally trained product specialists are standing by to help. Give us a call at 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today.