As Toronto’s temperature rises, so does the number of scammers vying for your attention. We’re talking about a certain kind of sales guy: not the ones selling fake watches or kitchen knives—the ones selling air conditioner promises.
Promises like, “You’ll be protected under all circumstances,” or, “Renting with us will save you money.” Or the big one: “This air conditioner pays for itself.”
Pays for itself? Not at his rates, it doesn’t.
Usually, we approach the use of tactics like this by telling our customers to beware: if it sounds good to be true, it probably is. But this year we’re trying something a little different. We’re going to meet the scammers head on, and we’re going to do it with cold hard facts. We figure the truth is the best weapon against those who lie.
The Truth about Air Conditioner Savings
When someone offers to sell you a new air conditioner and tells you it’ll “save you money in the long run,” you’re going to want to check the numbers on that. In fact, have a calculator by the door just in case you get visited by one of these scammers.
If the scammer is half honest with you, you should be able to do the required math with this formula:
(AIR CONDITIONER PRICE) – ([SAVINGS PER MONTH]x[AC LIFETIME IN MONTHS])
Typically, a well-built air conditioner will last you 15 years. Now, where do you get the other numbers? That’s a fairly complex question, and the answer would involve plenty of data. Good thing Lennox made a tool that does all that work for you!
Using the Lennox Savings Calculator
Lennox has made it pretty easy to use their tool. And the great thing about it is that, when used properly, this tool completely explodes any arguments your typical scammer will have.
Simply put, this tool compares the SEER (the seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of a new air conditioner to the SEER of your current air conditioner. It factors in the cost of energy in your province and then tells you how much money you’d be saving with the new air conditioner.
That should show those scammers who has the data. We always say that the best way to save money is to avoid being scammed, and this is a good way to do so.
What Is My SEER?
By default, the Lennox Savings Calculator uses the average of the province you live in. However, not everyone has a furnace with exactly 14.4 SEER, which is the current province-wide average.
In addition, in our experience, the average in the GTA is a little lower. So, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving the tool the actual SEER of your AC.
To find that, you’ll have to check the manual of your unit. Often the SEER will be printed on the side of the unit. If you want to know the SEER of a specific model, please call and we can tell you.
Actually Saving Money with a New AC
As we’ve said, there is no “magic bullet.” Savings from a new air conditioner will be slow, but as the years go by, they will add up (especially as the electricity rates in Ontario are projected to rise). However, how much they add up all depends on the age and SEER of your old air conditioner.
To demonstrate what me mean, let’s look at an example.
Let’s say that your AC is 10 years old and has a SEER of 10. If you upgrade to a AC with a SEER of 20, you’ll be saving 50% of the energy cost of your AC per year. Over time that adds up. According to Lennox, you’ll be saving about $2,430 over the lifetime of the machine.
But is that enough savings? Does it justify the purchase? Air Conditioners with that SEER generally cost about $6,000, so you’ll only be making back half of that, if you’re lucky.
However, you also have to take into account the fact that your AC is already 10 years old, which means it only has about 5 years left of good operation.
The question becomes less about if and more about when. When you look at it this way, it becomes easier to make sense of the numbers. Instead, what we see is that you’ll be paying less on your hydro bill now, rather than in 5 years. For some, that’s enough of an incentive to buy, but you have to make your own choice.
So, for a 20 SEER air conditioner, it comes down to personal preference. If you make that upgrade, you may end up saving money, depending on the age of your air conditioner. Plus, some may want to upgrade for the energy savings alone. But is 20 SEER really that much better?
“To save a lot of energy with a 20 SEER air conditioner, you’re going to have to run it about 10 months a year,” explains Dmitri Raskin, Husky Air’s Sales and Marketing Manager.
We don’t really have 10 months of summer in Canada. Plus, with a 17 SEER AC, you’re going to be spending approximately half as much as a 20 SEER AC.
When you work that into the calculations, things look different. According to Lennox, if you spend $3,000 on a new 17 SEER AC, you’ll very nearly make that money back over 15 years.
Saving Money on Energy Bills: No Secrets Required
Really, the best way to make sure you’re not over spending on energy is to have your AC checked regularly. Even if your AC has a good SEER, a clogged vent will mean that the air in your house won’t circulate properly, forcing your AC to work harder and raising your energy bill.
So for the sake of your wallet (and the planet!) make sure to get your AC tuned up regularly!
To arrange a tune up, contact the friendly experts at Husky for a free estimate.