Considering A/C Replacement? Understand the Difference Between First Costs and Lifetime Costs

Schedule Now

Making the right call when it’s time for A/C replacement means considering two kinds of costs. With some consumer purchases, the total expense ends once the upfront purchase price is paid. When comparison shopping cooling and heating systems, however, both the first cost and the long-term lifetime cost of a given unit have to be calculated to gain a realistic estimate of the total price.

Here are some guidelines to help you make the distinction when shopping for an A/C replacement.

First Cost

• This is the cost you incur once the deal is struck with your HVAC dealer or contractor and any available rebates or discounts are applied. Generally, you can expect the sticker price of an A/C replacement to increase in direct proportion to the unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. The higher the SEER, the more advanced the technology incorporated in the unit and the steeper the sticker price.

• A low first cost doesn’t guarantee lower costs down the road. Likewise, an air conditioner that’s more expensive upfront may deliver greater affordability over the span of its expected service life.

Lifetime Costs

• The SEER rating of an air conditioner also relates to long-run costs. SEER is usually a reliable gauge of expected monthly utility costs due to energy consumption. An A/C replacement with a high SEER above 14 can be expected to generate lower recurrent monthly energy expenses than a standard SEER 13 unit. Whether these savings will repay the steeper initial investment in a reasonable time span depends upon variables like the average length of the cooling season in your locale and the overall efficiency of your house.

• Other factors influencing lifetime operating costs are build quality, durability and maintenance. A low-cost unit that requires frequent repairs and early replacement isn’t a long-term bargain. Similarly, the buyer must consider the expense of annual routine maintenance, typically required by the manufacturer’s warranty and performed by an HVAC professional, when calculating lifetime costs.

For more help comparing the first costs versus lifetime costs of an A/C replacement for your greater Cincinnati home, talk to the experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Image via

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.



    Apollo Care Plan