Is spending $350 to get your a/c cleaned worth it?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | April 4, 2012 - 10:44AM

If our mild winter is any indication, things are going to heat up quickly this spring, so now's a good time to make sure those a/c units are heatwave ready.  

But is it worth it to have your a/c hauled out of your apartment and professionally cleaned every year or two at an average cost of $300-350 per unit, as one user is thinking of doing?

Cleaning the a/c is supposed to help the unit live longer and run more efficiently  (saving money on electric costs), but as a StreetEasy commenter scoffs, "It would take a hell of a lot of 'peak efficiency' to make back $350 a unit on energy costs. I mean, how does this math make any sense?"

It doesn't, concurs another, unless you've got a Cadillac of an a/c:

"When you are looking at a 25,000BTU AC, $350 is worth it. if you are looking at 6-12,000 BTU, then it's cheaper just to buy new ones every year. Each year the ACs become more economical in utilizing electricity, so donate your old and buy new."

If you do decide to get your a/c units cleaned--or swap it out for a new one--don't forget to tip. Tired of the whole window-unit dance? Here's some info on installing central air.

Related posts:

The cost of cool: Tipping advice for a/c season

Care for some mold with that a/c?

Dear Ms. Demeanor: Irreconcilable air-conditioning differences

3 ways to get around a/c-unfriendly window bars

Ask an expert: Best apartments for central A/C

The Big Chill: Putting central air in a prewar apartment

9 things to do in (or to) your apartment this spring

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