Branded Air conditioner – Is the extra cost worth it?
Have you heard the expression, “You get what you pay for”? Is that true with branded air conditioners or are you just paying for a name? Here are the “heads up” on why cutting corners will most likely result in you not saving money when replacing your air conditioner.
As the global effects on electricity prices hit household spending many people are trying to save money wherever they can – buying generic-brand groceries and driving less, etc. There are certain things that you should not cut back on, one of them is your air conditioning unit.
It is a high probability that you have never heard of SEER. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is a measure of the efficiency of the air conditioning unit. To show you just how much of a cost difference you will have in the long run, an air conditioner with the lowest SEER rating compared to the highest-rated can save you 61% every month! You may be spending a few hundred extra now, but you will be saving hundreds every single year.
It is also worth remembering that you will be living with your choice of air conditioning unit for the next 12 – 15 years.
With fluctuating electricity prices it would be a false economy to buy based on price rather than efficiency. Uswitch calculated in September 2021 that running an average air conditioner costs around £0.44 per hour. If you are choosing an air conditioner yourself you will need to calculate the size of the unit needed but it is generally wiser to contact a registered installer for advice.
The air conditioner filter is an essential part. The job of trapping all the contaminants from entering the air you breathe is paramount. Obviously, you want family, friends and work colleagues to breathe clean air. The higher the filter quality, the better it will filter out the contaminants. A cheap filter will not be as effective and the chance of breathing in impurities increases, a scenario no one wants. One other point worth mentioning about filters is their cleanliness, a dirty filter will not be able to filter the impurities. Advanced filtration systems allow for filter replacement timescales of up to a year as well as HEPA, washable and electrostatic systems. Your installer will be able to discuss these options with you.
Branded or Generic
Your decision on whether to spend extra money on a branded air conditioning unit isn’t like buying a Hermès handbag– a fake will hold your lipstick just as easily as a designer bag. A well-known branded air conditioner, though, will be more efficient in taking away that summer heat. Cheaper, non-brand name units are often built to a tight budget using cheaper parts and materials. This has the knock-on effect of being more likely to break down. What’s worse is that when they fail, spare parts for aircon units are that much harder to find. Remember the big brands have a hard-earned reputation to uphold.
It is never wise to make a purchasing decision based solely on price. Although price is a major influence in the purchase decision it is not the only factor. Studies show that consumers associate price with the quality of the product. A high price is perceived to reflect high quality and vice versa. There are many reasons for this, too many to go into here, but non-branded air conditioning units tend to be cheaper due to lack of after-sales service.
A large brand will have a dedicated network of installers, service engineers and repair technicians who have been trained and have access to the spares for that brand. They generally have spare parts available for many years which allows for a longer lifespan of the unit.
Generic “white brands” tend to offer out service work to whoever wants it. The lack of direct training on the air-conditioner and availability of spares can lead to buyer frustration.
There is the possibility in the life of any piece of electrical equipment that it may need a spare part. In most cases parts for air conditioning units are unique to that unit, this can leave an air conditioner useless if the brand is no longer trading or no longer has a support network. This is a very common problem in the consumer electronics industry and it is no different in the air conditioning industry.
Who are the main brands?
There are many “Big Names” in the air conditioner market but most will be very familiar. Whilst looking for top quality air conditioning systems lookout for units by
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive but these five companies have long-standing reputations not only in domestic air conditioning but in commercial systems too.
In summary, many people are looking to replace older inefficient air conditioning systems with modern ECO friendly, low energy systems. It is prudent to educate yourself and to be aware of your options for your budget.
Contact two or three quality contractors who supply and install a variety of top brands. This way you will get a broad range of advice for your personal situation and needs.
Ask about options when having your existing system replaced or a new system installed. Newer technologies and extras are easier and cheaper to install at this point. Modern upgrades include ultraviolet lights to kill moulds and viruses and humidifiers to improve comfort during dry periods.
A final thought. Don’t look just at the installed price. Taking into consideration the lifespan of the whole system, a quality system can last 15 years. Divide the extra cost of a system to meet all your needs over the lifespan of the system and suddenly the branded system with all the support looks like a very tempting choice.