If you’re considering upgrading your HVAC system, you should be looking at it as a long-term investment. That means you need to understand the true lifetime costs of the products you are comparing — and how the lifetime costs of equipment that runs on renewable energy compare with the costs of standard equipment.
What are lifetime costs? Lifetime costs are calculated by starting with the equipment’s initial price, then adding the total costs of operating and maintaining the equipment over its working life.
HVAC systems that are powered by renewable energy are becoming more popular, not only because of growing environmental awareness but because they often have the lowest lifetime costs. They’re generally not much more expensive up front than comparable models that use traditional fuel sources, while the lifetime savings associated with “green” equipment are much greater.
The Sacramento area has qualities that make it particularly suited to renewable energy use:
- According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, only 10 states had higher energy costs than California in 2011. That means homeowners here stand to save even more by using HVAC equipment powered by renewable energy than those who live in states with cheaper power.
- Not only is electricity expensive, California has a climate that lets us take full advantage of some renewable energy sources. For example, the National Climatic Data Center confirms that Sacramento ranks among the top U.S. cities in sunlight received each year. Homeowners here are in a unique position to benefit from HVAC systems that harness solar energy.
Tax credits and other incentives can make the costs even lower, so make sure you know how to take advantage of all these possible benefits when you make your purchase. The most common options for sustainable HVAC power are geothermal and solar. Your local heating and cooling contractor can help you decide on the best option for your needs and budget.
For help comparing the true lifetime costs of new HVAC equipment, contact the experts at All Year Heating, Air & Solar. We’ve been helping Greater Sacramento save energy for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Renewable energy image via Shutterstock