When you are looking for a new heating system, air conditioning system, thermostat or water heater, it is important to factor in the total cost of ownership, not just the initial sticker price. Here are a few points to consider:
- Higher efficiency units cost more, but may result in more rebates, incentives and utility savings. While higher efficiency systems often are priced higher, they also tend to come with greater rebates and government incentives.
- Government agencies and power companies want you to be efficient. Government agencies and power companies want to encourage the use of higher efficiency equipment to help reduce power consumption during different seasons.
- Incentives are offered by federal, state or local governments and utility companies. Use caution as these change frequently. These often come in the form of direct rebates, tax credits or tax deductions and the dollar amount per system may change depending on your geographic location and the type of system purchased.
TIP: Incentives for heating and air conditioning systems are generally tied to efficiency ratings and performance. Heating system efficiency are rated by percentage of efficiency. The efficiency of air conditioning systems in the U.S. is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER. Heat pumps are measured by Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF. A higher SEER or HSPF number signifies higher efficiency.
Is it worth it? When trying to decide if a higher efficiency system with incentives is worth the cost, it is helpful to calculate the expected payback, or time required before additional efficiency savings cover the cost of the unit. Call DALTON and we can provide a heat loss, heat gain calculation for you. Your exact payback will depend on the system cost, amount of incentive, cost of electricity, and your regional climate.