Today’s air conditioning equipment is far more efficient than older systems. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states that a new central A/C can be 20-40 percent more efficient than one that’s just 10 years old. Considering how much heat and humidity Kansas City residents cope with during the cooling season, replacing your old A/C with a new system will significantly lower your electric bills and keep you comfortably cool this summer.
Central air conditioners carry efficiency ratings called SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). The minimum starts at 13 and goes into the mid 20s for the most efficient systems. The DOE bases its savings of 20 to 40 percent on a 13 SEER system, so choosing one with a higher SEER rating will put even more money in your pocket each time the system runs. The highest-rated air conditioning systems won’t necessarily be the best for your home, however, so make sure you consult closely with an HVAC expert before choosing one.
Features that may raise the SEER of air conditioning systems include:
- Dual-speed compressors. These run at two different speeds and adjust themselves automatically. You’ll save energy when the cooling load is lighter, like at night and moderately warm days.
- Variable-speed motor in air handler. Also called electronically commutated motors, these use far less electricity than a single-speed motor and run quietly. They vary their operating speed and run more slowly, which helps remove more indoor humidity. They also distribute the conditioned air more evenly.
- An automatic fan-delay switch. This switch lets the air handler run a few minutes longer to fully evacuate the cooled air in your ducts after the outdoor condenser shuts off.
- Filter check light. This light turns on when the air filter needs changing. Although its presence won’t raise the SEER number, it will save energy costs because a dirty filter increases electrical consumption and hastens wear and tear on the A/C.
- Desuperheater. This upgrade uses the waste heat from your home to heat water in the summer, further reducing your energy bills. It can also be used as a swimming pool heater.
If you would like more information about a new air conditioning system, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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