Comparing the Costs of Window AC Units and HVAC Systems

Window AC Unit in Mooresville, NC

Now that spring has arrived, the time has come to prepare your Mooresville, NC home for the hot summer weather ahead. You might be updating your insulation, working on your landscaping, or installing a programmable thermostat in preparation for the changing season.

However, if you’re in need of a new air conditioner, you need to choose the right one for your household before the outdoor temperatures start soaring. Before you make an investment, you need to decide what type of system to purchase. Window AC units and HVAC systems are both popular options with distinct upsides and downsides, but which one will be more affordable for your home? Here are some factors to consider.

Is One Window Unit Enough?

When determining which type of AC unit is going to be the most cost-effective option for your space, you need to consider your home’s cooling needs. Window units are designed to cool one room or small area of your house. So, if multiple people are living there or you spend time in several rooms regularly, you would probably need several window units to achieve sufficient cooling. A central HVAC system, on the other hand, can cool your entire home at once.

Comparing the Purchase and Installation Costs

Even if you decide that you need several window AC units to keep your home comfortable, the overall price may still be lower than the cost of an HVAC system. Most window unit models cost only a few hundred dollars to purchase, and even the largest units are unlikely to cost more than $1,000. Plus, as long as you have an hour or two to spare, you can install your new window unit yourself and avoid the installation fee. Alternatively, HVAC systems have a lot of variance in their prices, but the average unit falls somewhere in the range of $3,000 to $7,000. Plus, you’ll need to add a few hundred dollars to have the system professionally installed.

Comparing the Energy Costs

If your home isn’t using an energy-efficient cooling system, the monthly electricity bills can get a bit out of hand during the summer. With a window AC unit, though, that shouldn’t be a problem. On average, window units are very efficient, typically requiring only 500-1,400 watts of electricity for every hour they operate. That may not sound like anything special, but for context, HVAC systems often use as many as 3,500 watts per hour. That said, this massive difference decreases significantly if your home is running two, three, or even four window units at the same time. On average, though, your monthly cooling bills will be quite a bit more affordable with window units than with an HVAC system.

Comparing the Average Repair Costs

Any homeowner knows that every now and then, an appliance problem is going to pop up and require a professional repair. Air conditioners are no exception to this rule. However, when comparing window units and HVAC systems, there’s a pretty big difference in how much the average repair costs. HVAC units are much more complex and powerful systems than window units, so when something goes wrong, the necessary repair is usually more complicated. In some cases, a fix may even cost more than $1,000. And, since the appliance would likely cost $3,000 or more to replace, biting the bullet and paying for the repair is frequently the only practical option.

As for window units, they’re usually relatively affordable to replace. So, if a major malfunction does occur and the remedy is too expensive, you can instead spend a few hundred dollars to purchase a new unit. However, it’s uncommon for it to even come to that. Because window units are simpler than HVAC systems, the majority of repairs are fairly quick and affordable.

At Putnam Mechanical, we’re proud to be a trusted name in heating, cooling, and electrical services for Mooresville, NC and the rest of the greater Charlotte area. When you hire our team, we’ll always show up on time, fully prepared and ready to get to work. We’ll work with you to find a personalized solution and do the job correctly the first time around. We’re a family-owned and -operated business, and we take pride in our fast response times, affordable service, and revolutionary customer service. To learn more or schedule an appointment with our expert team, give us a call at Putnam Mechanical.

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