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When Is the Best Time to Buy an Air Conditioner? (2024 Update)

Air Condition Store

The summer heat can be brutal. As spring arrives and the weeks begin to pass, the hot days seem to sneak up on us. When that day arrives, the window units fly off the store shelves, and the HVAC professionals’ schedules start up quickly.

If you do not want to be on that waiting list or find the shelves empty, you will need to know the best time to buy an air conditioner or install a cooling system in your home. The best time to buy an air conditioner is at the end of winter or fall.

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The 2 Best Times to Buy an Air Conditioner

1. The End of Winter

One of the last things that consumers are thinking about in the frosty winter months is air conditioning. As the wintry weather starts to subside and the spring is approaching, retailers will run specials to get rid of last year’s stock of air conditioners.

From the end of February to the end of March is the best time to find great deals on air conditioners. Retailers will be offering sales to make room for newer models. HVAC professionals will have open schedules since there will be less demand for installation and repairs on heating systems, so they will be offering spring discounts.

As the warmer days are more frequent, from late March into early April, more buyers are thinking about their summer cooling needs. The air conditioning units will start disappearing from shelves. If you don’t get one early in the season, you may find yourself waiting for new shipments to arrive, and you will see an increase in the price.

Since HVAC professionals’ schedules will begin to fill up, you may get placed on a waiting list for an HVAC system replacement or repair if you wait until the summer months. Higher demand for services will mean higher prices.

exterior of house in the midst of tall trees during winter
Image Credit: Bailey Alexander, Unsplash

2. In the Fall

Once the hot temperatures start to let up and the days are getting cooler, consumers begin to turn off the air conditioning and let the fresh air inside. The demand for air conditioning units or HVAC repairs and installation lessens.

As the need for air conditioning units decreases, retailers will begin to lower the cost to reduce stock. They need to make room for cold weather needs like space heaters and holiday decorations.

HVAC professionals may have a little lull in the fall months. Since the demand for services is lower, you may be able to catch a good deal.

The fall is also an excellent time to get your air conditioning checked and maintained. This is especially important if you have an air conditioner that is a reverse cycle (provides heating and cooling) or just to prepare for next summer. Keeping the system free of pollen and dust will help to keep it running efficiently. That would help maintain lower energy bills.

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The 2 Worst Times to Buy an Air Conditioner

1. The Summer

The summer months are the peak season for air conditioning. As the days begin to heat up, buyers will start to empty retailers’ shelves. As the demand increases, so does the cost. So, if you wait until May, June, or July to get one, you will end up paying more.

HVAC specialists will also be busy during the hot weather. Their schedules will fill up with service calls for repairs and replacement of existing systems. Companies won’t be offering any specials or deals during the busy season. Therefore, you may have to pay more for service calls or new installations.

man in his bed near the window
Image Credit: Rachata Teyparsit, Shutterstock

2. The Winter

Contrary to popular belief, buying an air conditioner off-season is not the best time.

As the frigid winter days creep in, so do the issues with furnaces or heating systems. HVAC companies are scrambling to respond to customer calls, repairing furnaces, and installing heating systems. With the high demand, the prices may be higher. That makes it a bad time to install an air conditioning system.

Retailers are packed with kerosene and electric space heaters. After the fall specials, there may not be any units available to purchase, let alone at a lower cost.

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Buying Tips

In addition to saving money on air conditioning units and systems, it is important to get the proper unit for your home.

Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning is a ducted cooling system. The cost of installing a ducted cooling system can be expensive. Although it may not be ideal, you may be able to use the heating ducts that are already installed in your home but rooms without ducts will need to have them installed. Consult with HVAC specialists to find out the pros and cons of using the existing ducts in your home.

The best time to update or install a central air conditioning system would be off season, in the spring and fall. You may also be able to find some deals during the holiday season. Now there’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Heat Pumps

This is a system that cools your home by pulling the warm indoor air out during the hot summer months and pulls heat into the air during the colder months. Once again, the best time to buy a heat pump is during the spring and fall. This is the time of year that most people are not thinking about extreme cold or heat. It is also a convenient time. You may not require heat or air conditioning, so you won’t mind being without it during the installation period.

air condition unit repair
Image Credit: Elnur, Shutterstock

Mini Splits

If you are looking for an air conditioning system that does not require installing ducts in your home, mini splits are an excellent option. The system allows you to cool one room at a time with a small compact mini-split system that is mounted on your wall. The spring and fall are the best times to have this system installed.

Window Units

Window air conditioning units are the least expensive of the air conditioning options available. They do not require professional installation or costly ductwork. Just put it in the window and you’re ready to go. Since retailers will be making room for new models, they will be reducing prices in the spring and fall, so this would be the best time to purchase a new window unit.

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There never seems to be a good time to deal with the expense of air conditioning replacement, repair, or installation. However, if you want your home to be cool and comfortable in the sizzling summer months, the best time to get a deal is in the spring or fall months.

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Featured Image Credit By: Sergey Ryzhov, Shutterstock


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