Should You Choose a Window AC Unit or HVAC System?
Soon, you’ll be depending frequently on your air conditioner to maintain a comfortable home. So, if you’re currently shopping for a brand-new system, you’ll certainly want to pull the trigger on a decision before the Olathe, KS weather becomes hot and muggy. However, if you aren’t especially knowledgeable about the different kinds of AC units, then making your choice can be stressful. You could go with a more traditional HVAC unit, such as a central air system or a heat pump, or you could instead invest in one or more window units. Both kinds of air conditioning systems are effective at cooling you down, but they have some significant differences when it comes to cost, efficiency, and upkeep.
The Cost of Purchase and Installation
One of the larger differences between window AC units and HVAC systems is the up-front cost. For one, window units are significantly less expensive than most HVAC systems. Depending on the size and quality of the individual unit, you can typically purchase a window AC unit for anywhere from $100 or $200 to around $1,500. For a reliable new central air system, though, you’ll usually be paying north of $2,000, with some high-efficiency models costing as much as $10,000. That said, heat pumps are generally more affordable than central air HVAC systems, and their prices are fairly comparable to window units.
Window units will also save you some money on installation. To have any sort of HVAC system installed in your home, you’ll need to pay installation technicians anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand for the job. Installing a window unit, though, is something you should be able to do on your own with only an hour or two of work.
Monthly Energy Costs
On average, an HVAC system will use somewhere in the range of three to six times as much energy as a window AC unit. Of course, several variables come into play when looking at energy efficiency. For example, a heat pump is significantly more efficient than a central air AC unit. Additionally, since window units are only equipped to cool down one room or area of your home, you may need to install several of them around the household. If you’re running two or three of them at once, you’ll likely be using just as much energy as you’d use with an HVAC system. However, you can always turn your window unit off whenever you’re not in that part of the home, which will save you a significant amount of money on electricity bills. HVAC systems, on the other hand, are designed to circulate air throughout your entire house. So, although they require more energy, they also cool much larger areas than window units do.
Repair and Regular Maintenance Costs
Another area in which HVAC systems will cost you money is regular professional maintenance. To keep your system healthy, efficient, and effective, you need to schedule a maintenance tune-up at least once each year. These scheduled service visits are extremely important and worthwhile, but the cost will add up over several years. Generally, that kind of maintenance isn’t necessary for window AC units.
There’s also the issue of paying for equipment repairs. If your central air HVAC system or heat pump breaks down or malfunctions, you could potentially be saddled with a four-figure repair bill. And, since you invested thousands of dollars in the appliance, you’ll likely feel obligated to suck it up and pay for the repair job. Alternatively, if your window AC unit has some kind of mechanical failure, you have much more flexibility. If the unit needs a relatively minor and inexpensive repair, it shouldn’t be a problem to have it done. However, if the window unit has a serious problem that needs a major fix, you can weigh the price against the cost of simply replacing the unit. Since window units are rarely more than $1,000 or $1,500, it will never be worth it to pay for a repair job that costs more than that.
Since 2004, Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling has been proudly serving residents of the greater Olathe area. The top-notch services you can call us for include work on heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and geothermal systems. When you hire our team for any job, we’ll make sure to provide the highest-quality workmanship and the most professional customer service possible. Our friendly HVAC contractors are all licensed, trained, certified, and ready to provide you with personalized service. We’re a locally owned and operated company, and we always treat our customers like family. Ready to schedule an appointment or learn more? If so, contact us at Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling today!