When purchasing a major appliance, such as a heating system, there are upfront costs and there are lifetime costs to consider. Upfront costs are the price of the equipment along with installation. Lifetime costs involve both upfront costs and the costs to maintain the equipment, fuel costs and other factors.
Getting a good upfront price may not be, in the long term, your best option.
Your heating equipment should keep your home warm, be efficient, and have low operating costs. Operational costs should have a payback that justifies cost. Getting a good initial price should always be only the first part of a quote. The second should be determining how expensive the heating system will be to operate and maintain. A heating system with a longer lifespan, efficient fuel consumption and lower service requirements during the ownership is usually a better investment â€“ even if those factors mean a higher price tag.
Factors to Consider
- If model A is less expensive than model B in upfront costs, always ask what differences there are when comparing both models.
- Examine fuel costs. Your energy costs should always be considered as part of the purchase. If model B uses 10 percent less fuel annually than model A but costs more, compare the additional expense to what fuel savings you will have over the life of the unit. If the savings have a short payback of only a few years, B is a better investment.
- Warranties are important. If both the manufacturer and the installer offer better warranties on B, there is more confidence in the equipment. This usually means better equipment, longer life and lower ownership costs.
- When looking at comparative heating equipment, energy costs, longevity, costs to maintain and service, warranties, inflation and dealer service agreements should all be part of lifetime costs.
Lifetime costs go the distance. Low initial costs may look good now, but may be expensive later. If you need help determining your best long-term option, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We can help you determine options that can lower your cost of ownership over the life of your equipment.
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