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Keeping your Bay Area home cool and comfortable is at the top of most people’s minds this summer and beyond. Our temperatures remain pretty consistent throughout the summer months, but vary throughout the hours of a day; you may need AC by day and heat by night. We know, comfort isn’t always the only thing on people’s minds when it comes to cooling and heating their homes, the cost of keeping your home in the ideal temperature range can play a major role on it and its occupants.

We have all heard about energy efficient options to help save some money on heating and cooling our homes, but do they really work? Are they worth it? Let’s review if an energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money.

What is Energy Efficient HVAC and Why it Matters?

Before we review if an energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money, we wanted to provide a brief reminder as to what this type of system is and why you should even consider this option.

Let’s start with the “why”. The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of this going to heating and cooling costs (EnergyStar). Your HVAC system plays a major role in how much or how little you spend. If you have an older HVAC system, or one that is not energy efficient, if you switch to a high-efficiency HVAC system, you could reduce your energy use by 20% to 50% ( That large chunk of savings isn’t something to blink about.

An efficient HVAC system is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option ( To put this simply, compared to standard units, energy-efficient HVAC uses less energy and costs less to operate without affecting performance and comfort. An energy efficient HVAC system can be determined by two things: SEER and AFUE. You can read more about those here.

Can an Energy Efficient HVAC System Really Save You Money?

As we reviewed above, if you don’t have an energy efficient HVAC system in your home, chances are it is costing you by up to 50% more than it needs to be. A new HVAC system can help you enjoy more consistent heating and cooling throughout your home and lower your utility bills, yes, saving you money. Energy efficient HVAC systems have several other benefits as well:

  • Increased comfort because energy efficient units produce more even heating and cooling, help maintain a constant temperature in every room in your home, provide consistent levels of airflow, and have superior humidity control.
  • Lower noise level due to newer HVAC units being designed with sound-absorbing materials and technology.
  • Better environmental impact because energy efficient systems use less electricity and burn less fuel than older systems. High efficiency systems use up to one-third less fuel than older models, which means they help conserve more of our natural resources.
  • Rebates and incentive offers. In some states you may be able to get a rebate, tax break, or other financial incentive on a qualified energy-efficient ENERGY STAR HVAC unit. This will save you money right from the start of having your new HVAC system installed.

An energy efficient HVAC system can really save you money and comes with some other added benefits as well.

If you are looking for a heating or cooling system for your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home, contact Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We are committed to providing fast, cost-effective HVAC solutions for homeowners throughout the North Bay area.

It’s summer and it’s hot. When you are looking for some relief from the heat, you likely turn to the inside of your home to find comfort. If your home doesn’t have central air conditioning, or there are rooms without vents or that never seem to cool down enough, you may turn to whatever solution you can find, to gain your home’s ideal temperatures. If you use window ac units to cool down your home, or even just a room or two, while there are other options available (i.e. ductless air conditioning, central ac, etc.), you may not see the need to change. Should you? Is that window AC unit costing you more than you even realize? Let’s review.

What are Window Air Conditioners?

In case you aren’t familiar with these cooling devices, a window air conditioner is the simplest type of AC unit. It’s a single unit with all the parts and components contained inside one box or casing. This type of air conditioning is usually mounted or installed in a window and plugs into an electrical outlet. Window units operate independently from a home HVAC system. Like other air conditioning units, window AC units use refrigeration properties to remove heat and humidity from a room while cooling air to circulate into the room.

While central air conditioning is a solution for whole home comfort, window AC units are used more for smaller areas, and multiple units may need to be used to keep your home feeling comfortable in the heat.

Many people turn to this type of cooling, when their home doesn’t have central AC or existing ductwork and they don’t want to face the cost of having that or ductless AC installed. The question is, is that window AC unit costing you more?

Is that Window AC Unit Costing You?

It’s rather difficult to compare window AC units versus central AC, because they serve different purposes. Central air conditioners move cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the whole home. Window AC units typically only cool a limited space like a room or two (depending on the size of your unit).

When considering if window AC units cost you more than central air conditioning, you should compare the energy usage for your cooling system. A central air unit uses more energy to cool your home than other cooling choices; however, they are cooling a larger space and are typically more efficient. As Mr. Electricity states, a window unit uses anywhere from 500 to 1,440 watts to run, while a 2.5 ton central unit (about the size for a typical 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home) uses about 3,500 watts.

Basically, to answer if that window AC unit is costing you, it really comes down to its main purpose. If you are looking to cool only a small area, a window AC unit may be okay; however, as a whole home solution, if you have multiple window units running, the energy usage and cost can really add up.

With window units there is a lot more risk of hot air entering and cool air escaping than with central AC or ductless cooling. That too can cost you and make your window air conditioning have to continuously run to keep up with the desired temperature and humidity levels. While installation of a window unit is simple and less expensive than other options, is it worth it?

Are Window AC Units Right for Your Home?

Is that window AC unit costing you? Like we said above, this really comes down to what you are using the cooling device for. If you plan to cool more than three rooms and have more than one or two window AC units, the energy consumption will likely cost you more than that of a central air conditioning unit.

A central AC unit adds resale value to your home, so you can recoup more of your investment, if you sell your home. Central AC allows you to cool more of your home at once and maintain more balanced temperatures than window units. Central air units should connect to your thermostat giving you more control over your home’s comfort, than a window AC unit allows. Also, central air units are also more efficient and let less cool air escape.

If you are looking for new AC Installation in Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We offer whole home air conditioning options as well as ductless AC installation.

Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is a full service HVAC company that is licensed to solve all your air conditioner related problems, including repair, replacement, maintenance and safety inspection. Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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