How to Get Affordable Air Conditioning

Do you want affordable air conditioning to keep your home comfortable through a long hot summer? Of course, you do! Who doesn't? Nobody wants to pay too much for a new unit, or, even worse, pay out the nose every month for a too high utility bill to keep an old clunker cooling. Fortunately, it is possible to get affordable air conditioning that will actually keep you cool, and won't ruin your bank account.

Affordable Air Conditioning is Possible

The first thing we often hear from our customers is how they came down with a severe case of sticker shock when they received their most recent HVAC installation estimate. It's not uncommon to get quotes for $5000, $7000, or even $10k to repair or replace an existing central air conditioning system. Unless you happen to have a money tree just coming into bloom, those kind of prices will give anyone pause.

There are alternatives. So, let's review the main ways to save money and get the affordable air conditioning that you deserve.

Buy Online

It's pretty simple. If you want to save money on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment, purchase those products online. Why are products so much cheaper online? Because it's not uncommon for local companies to mark up the resale price 100% or more. Yes, that new central air condenser you were quoted for $2500 might have cost half that. Or even less. Buy online, get the equipment shipped to your door, and reap the savings.

What kind of affordable air conditioning can you find online? It's not the Dark Ages, so you can find basically everything online. At IWAE.com, we have just about every HVAC product that the average homeowner could ever need, want, or even know exists. And if we don't have it in our warehouse, we can most likely get it for you. Plus, we can tell you what accessories you will and will not need with it to get the comfort you want. Which is convenient for a lot of folks.

But What About....

Most folks want an HVAC guy to install their stuff. We get that. A new central air system is not the simplest thing in the world. And lots of local HVAC installers will refuse to install equipment that you didn't buy from them, because they really like charging you that extra 100%. They'll even tell you that no one will install equipment bought online.

Fortunately, this just isn't true. There are plenty of reputable and reliable HVAC professionals across the country that will gladly install HVAC equipment that the homeowner bought online. They will, of course, charge you for their time, and deservedly so. It might take more than a few phone calls to find those willing pros. But they are out there, we hear from them all the time.

Do-It-Yourself

The alternative to finding a local HVAC professional to install the HVAC equipment you purchased online is simply to do the job yourself. Provided you abide by the local permit and installation requirements, homeowners are generally free to make just about any improvement to their property that they want. Now, local conditions can vary, so make sure your state, county, and municipal laws don't frown on amateur installation.

That Being Said....

Not all HVAC systems are made equal. You want affordable air conditioning, but that doesn't mean you're ready to go out and take a few courses on refrigerant at the local technical school. Your best option is a system made for DIY'ers like the MRCOOL DIY. The MRCOOL DIY is designed for non-professional installation. It does not require any special tools or training to install. It is, quite simply, the easiest HVAC system to put in, and our customers do it all the time.

Now, the MRCOOL DIY is a mini-split. What if you want a central heating and air conditioning system? Unless you have particular technical skills related to HVAC, you probably can't do that entire job yourself. But that doesn't mean there aren't parts of it you can't accomplish.

For example, a typical HVAC condenser sits on a slightly pad. This can be a plastic pad or a concrete pad. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put one of these down, and that's something you can do to save yourself a little money.

Prioritize Efficiency

Your plan is affordable air conditioning. You're going to save money by buying online. You might even save even more by doing all or some of the job yourself. Where else can you save? We would argue you can save with a higher efficiency unit. Your first objection to that would be that higher efficiency HVAC products cost more money. How does that equate to affordable air conditioning?

We like to think of it like this: you pay for every air conditioner twice. You pay to buy the unit from an installer or dealer like us. You pay again every single month, because your air conditioner is most likely the biggest consumer of electricity in your home. Now, that monthly price you pay is much less than the initial purchase. That doesn't mean it won't add up over time.

Our recommendation is to invest in as high an efficiency air conditioner as you can afford. You're buying online, so you're already going to be saving a lot of money. You can invest some of that money into efficiency to increase your savings month over month.

And That's Not All....

Affordable air conditioning is great, but who wouldn't want affordable heating too? With new variable-speed, DC inverter heat pump systems like the MRCOOL Universal or Bosch Inverter, you can save all year long. These new technologies can heat in far colder temperatures and with far less energy than previous generation technology. Do you want the cutting edge, because these systems are the cutting edge.

Improve Your Home

But what if you want affordable air conditioning, but you don't want to buy a new HVAC system? Or you want to make sure that the new, high efficiency unit that you bought from IWAE will deliver the best possible performance?

We can help you figure out that too. What you want to do is to make sure that your home is as optimized as it can be to improving your air conditioner's performance. There are a few ways to do this.

Change the Air Filter

If we have a mantra it is this: Change Your Air Filter. Regularly checking, changing and/or cleaning your home air filter is the biggest and most important thing you can do to keep your home air conditioning running effectively. And the more effectively an air conditioner runs, the less money it is going to cost you. Want to keep that affordable air conditioning going? Then change that dirty filter.

How often should you do this? You should check your air filter every single month. Every month? Yes, every month if you want reliable and affordable air conditioning.

Check the filter monthly. If it's dirty, clean it or change it out. This takes 5 minutes. Set a regular reminder on your phone. Then set a second reminder to buy air filters. Just buy a dozen or so, and keep them in your supply closet. You can come back and thank me later.

Escaping Air

You weren't born in a barn, so you keep your doors and windows shut when you're running the air conditioning. At least, we hope that you do or this handy guide is not going to be very useful. Open doors and broken windows aside, don't overlook the less obvious ways that cooled air might escape from your home. Do you have serious cracks around doors and windows? Are you air ducts properly sealed and secure?

Let's start with doors and windows. The best thing to do is to go out and invest in new, high efficiency windows and doors. This might not be in line with your finances. If it's not, make sure there aren't any huge gaps that are just allowing outside air to flow in unimpeded. Get a professional to repair any major structural problems. At the very least, buy some cheap weather stripping at a local store to minimize drafts.

Next, inspect your duct work. Do you have gaping cracks or even entirely disconnected ducts? Fix those. Ducts that are losing their air supply or just blowing conditioned air into your crawlspace aren't doing you any good. Get the air going where it needs to go. After all, you're paying for it whether it makes it into your house or not.

Programmable Thermostat

Studies show that a programmable thermostat can save homeowners a significant amount every year. If used properly, of course. Do you have a programmable thermostat? Take a weekend afternoon, find the manual (or download a new one online from the manufacturer website), and figure out how it works. Then program your programmable thermostat.

First, this will save you energy, which is nice. You do want affordable air conditioning, after all. Second, putting your desired settings into a programmable thermostat will make your life a little bit easier. Are you constantly fiddling with the thermostat before your leave for work or when you're ready to go to bed? Don't do that. Set it once and forget it. And make sure you use the vacation mode before you leave for vacation.

More Questions or Comments?

Do you have additional questions or comments about affordable air conditioning? At Ingram's Water & Air Equipment, we want to make sure that you are accurately informed about the best equipment for your home. Give us a call at 270-575-9595 or contact us here.

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