So, What Does a New Air Conditioner Actually Cost?

An air conditioner can improve your health and quality of life!

In Waterloo Region, air conditioners (ACs) aren’t a luxury anymore — they are a necessity during the sweltering summer months. In today’s market, new units are more powerful, energy efficient and quieter than ever before. But at what cost?

air conditioner gif

A new AC system’s cost depends on the size of the system, who you hire to install it, and your unit’s overall efficiency. Let’s break this down.

Why Size Matters – Smaller is Sometimes Better!

The first step in getting a new AC is determining what size you need. Sizing an AC requires a consultation with an HVAC professional, such as Afterglow. We will look at multiple factors that will affect your unit’s measurements:

  • Total size of your home’s living space,
  • The amount of sunshine in your home,
  • Existing ventilation and ductwork, and more.  

Why do we have to do this? AC units are measured in tons, which refers to the amount of heat they can remove from a home in an hour. ACs that are sized correctly, are able to remove the humidity in the home before reaching the desired cooling point. Over-sized ACs never get a chance to have a long run cycle to remove the humidity.

Larger homes often run into problems because the AC is oversized for a light load, and that is where two-stage ACs come in.

Two-Stage Air Conditioners

Two-Stage ACs are popular in the Southern United States where living with AC is a must, and controlling humidity is essential. This technology has found its way to Ontario now that AC is commonplace. If your home requires three tons of cooling or more, consider a two-stage AC or multiple ACs!

SEER Rating

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is also a critical factor. This ratio is a measure of an AC unit’s total cooling output during a season, divided by its total electric energy input. The higher the resulting number, the better! All units sold are over 13 SEER, and some can even perform at up to 27 SEER. If your old AC was 8 SEER, by going to 16 SEER you will cut your energy consumption in half!

Thermostats and Ducting

When purchasing an AC, also consider upgrading the thermostat. Or it may be time to address some duct-work issues or duct sealing.

Hiring a Contractor

For homes that have never had an AC, an installation requires new breakers in the electrical panel, wires run through your home’s foundation, and new duct work linking to your existing HVAC system. To ensure these crucial tasks are done correctly, ask an AC professional for a quote on your system — and if you’re happy with them, book them!

For a basic model, expect to pay $2,000, a mid-range unit will cost around $3,000, and top-of-the-line AC systems can be over $5,000.

Government Rebates

There are government rebates that cover some cooling systems, such as the Ontario Heating and Cooling Incentive, but they change periodically — it’s good to revisit these websites every few months.

Keep in mind that to qualify for these incentives, your AC needs to be purchased from and installed by a participating contractor. Afterglow is part of the saveONenergy program for residential customers, so ask us about what rebates are available for AC’s in the KW Region!

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Top 3 Causes of a Noisy Air Conditioner

AC UnitStephen from Afterglow here,

Last weekend, I was outside washing the car and I could hear my neighbour’s noisy air conditioner from three houses over. Yikes! Not only is a noisy air conditioner annoying to your neighbours, it’s almost ALWAYS a sign that something has gone wrong with your unit, so it’s important not to ignore it.

There are few possible causes for a loud air conditioner:

  • Fan issue: Fans can be noisy if they are loose, or if there is an obstruction in the way, for example, a screw or a bolt. For a fan to work properly, it needs to be kept clean and properly maintained.
  • Motor problem: A motor that’s in need of lubrication can cause a humming noise. You can prevent this by oiling the air conditioner motor at the beginning of each summer. Yes, it’s that simple!
  • Dirty Coil Fins: One of the main issues that outdoor coil fins run into is dirt. When coil fins become overly dirty, it can impair the proper functioning of an air conditioning unit.

In some cases, an air conditioning unit is beyond repair by the time it starts being noisy; however, much of the time the unit will only need minor work done in order to start functioning quietly again.

To track down the cause, and to keep your air conditioner working well and operating efficiently, it’s important to have it inspected by a qualified technician!

Give Afterglow a call to keep your air conditioner running smoothly all summer, and keep your house comfy and cool: 519-747-7732.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.