It can cost $10,000 or more to install a central air conditioning system in an average home. For most of us, saving money is a priority. But going for the cheapest AC installation can actually cost you more in the long run. In doing so, you risk:
Some brands are just more expensive than others, but cheap installation often sacrifices quality. The less you spend on an air conditioner, the less reliable and efficient it may be. You also might not get the features and options you need. You may pay higher electric bills and for repairs sooner than you would with a higher-end system. There’s also a risk that too small an AC will be installed, which will struggle to keep your home cool.
HVAC companies that charge significant labor rates are generally committed to getting the job done right. A poor AC installation can mean the unit won’t keep up with your cooling needs, temperatures may vary from room to room, and your home may be too humid. Improperly installed air conditioners also cannot run as efficiently, so you end up paying higher utility bills. Aside from finding a reputable contractor, you want to make sure discounts or savings don’t equate to shortcuts.
A contractor’s proposal should itemize everything the service includes. Get every quote in writing and after the contractor inspects your home. A lowball price over the phone means nothing, as they won’t fully understand your needs or even do a load calculation first. The company should generously match a competitor’s price, but first, compare previous proposals you received. Allowing them to perform AC installation can mean dealing with discomfort, wasted energy, and poor air quality for years.
Replacing only the indoor or the outdoor unit can mean spending a lot more later. You won’t see efficiency benefits by combining a more modern unit with an older one. If the components are incompatible, the results can include reduced performance and comfort and strain that leads to major damage. Your best bet is to replace all HVAC components at once to ensure fewer problems and pay for only one installation visit.
An AC contractor that charges cheap rates may not have the proper skills or licensing. It’s not cheap to obtain a state license, so a reputable installer must cover some of these costs. Additional training is needed to obtain North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and become a factory-authorized dealer. All these require a high level of expertise. It’s also important a contractor is insured; cheap service is an indicator they may not be.
If the quoted price is too good to be true, it probably is. There’s often a reason an HVAC contractor would charge such a low price, such as a history of bad reviews and poor installation service.
You can achieve savings and preserve quality by taking advantage of seasonal discounts, manufacturer’s rebates, and tax credits. When you get quotes from different contractors, compare what’s included in each to find the most value. Also, schedule AC installation for the spring and fall, when there’s less demand off-season. Generally, paying a fair price often means having a system that meets your needs and is affordable to operate.
So, the answer is, you should avoid the cheapest AC installation. There are safe ways to reduce the initial cost, but you can find opportunities to save later. These include changing your AC filters often, maintaining a constant temperature, and scheduling regular preventative maintenance when the manufacturer and contractor recommend it.
The #1 HVAC company in Southern California, NexGen offers high-quality AC equipment including traditional, electric, rooftop, and ductless units. We also supply and install air purification systems and the latest thermostats. Our team of experienced AC installers ensures 100% success with each job, while free estimates, financing, and a membership maintenance plan help make our exceptional service affordable.
To schedule a free estimate and evaluation, call NexGen at 833-729-9735 today.