Although HVAC systems are popular and have their advantages, they aren’t necessarily the right fit for every household. If you’re currently in the market for a new air conditioner and looking to save some money, you may be better off purchasing a window AC unit. However, it depends entirely on the specifics of your situation. Before you make your decision, you’d be wise to look at the pros and cons of each type of air conditioner. Then, you can make a prudent choice based on your newfound knowledge.
Capabilities and Limitations
There are several different types of HVAC systems, with the most popular options being central air units and heat pumps. What all HVAC systems have in common, though, is that they’re designed to control the climate of your entire home. By circulating cool air through your air ducts and vents, these systems can simultaneously keep every room of your house comfortable. Window units are a bit different. Instead of pushing air around the whole home, these systems are only meant to cool down one room or area. Each unit is installed in or next to a window, and if you want to control the climate of multiple rooms, you need to install multiple units.
There’s a large difference in the average prices of HVAC systems and window units. Window units are known for their affordability, with some smaller models typically available for as little as $100-$200. Even if you purchase a large, top-of-the-line window AC unit, you’ll most likely be spending no more than $1,000. Of course, that’s only the price for a single unit. However, if you decide to spread three or four of them around different rooms of your house, you will have the option of going with smaller models. That way, you may be spending only $600-$1,500 in total as opposed to $3,000-$4,000.
As for HVAC systems, numerous variables determine their prices. For one, each of the several HVAC system types tends to have a slightly different average price. Additionally, the size and efficiency level of the unit plays a large role. Usually, though, the most inexpensive HVAC systems will be around $2,000, and the most expensive will be as much as $10,000. Plus, when you purchase an HVAC system, you also must pay at least another few hundred dollars to have it professionally installed. This contrasts with window units, which most homeowners can install themselves.
When the sweltering summer weather arrives in Downers Grove, IL, you’ll probably be running your air conditioning quite often. So, your cooling system’s energy efficiency will have a major impact on how much money you’re spending each month.
In most scenarios, having a window unit will result in more affordable energy bills than having an HVAC system. Depending on the specifics of the appliance, a window AC unit will consume between 500 and 1,400 watts of electricity per hour, on average. Of course, if you’re running several window units in your home at once, the amount of energy will be multiplied by the number of units.
As you’d expect, HVAC systems typically need much more electricity than window units. This is because they must circulate air to every part of your house simultaneously while also controlling the home’s humidity. The average central air HVAC system will use up around 3,500 watts of electricity per hour, but if you have a high-efficiency unit or a heat pump, that number will be lower.
Ultimately, if your home features only one window unit or you only run one at a time, you’ll be burning through far less electricity each month than you would with an HVAC system. Those savings will be significant over one summer, but over the course of several years, you could potentially be looking at thousands of extra dollars in your bank account.
At Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc., we’ve been proudly serving Downers Grove and the surrounding areas since 1977. We’re a family-owned and operated company, and we always have your comfort in mind. Whenever you need reliable heating, cooling, or indoor air quality services, we’re the ones to call. All our technicians and installers have a minimum of 15 years of experience in the field, so you know you’ll always be in good hands. We’ve won the Carrier Presidential Award for our consistently excellent service, and we also maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. If you’d like to learn more or schedule an appointment with our team, contact us at Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc. today.