Are you planning to upgrade your air conditioner? If so, now's the ideal time to investigate equipment features that not only keep your home comfortably cool, but provide greater efficiency so you can save money on your energy bills. Here are some A/C features worth considering.
High Efficiency Rating
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) on central A/Cs tells you how much energy they consume to produce a specific amount of cool air output. Models on the market today range from SEER 14 through 26, and the higher the A/C rating, the greater the efficiency. For maximum energy savings, pick a model with the highest possible rating within your budget.
A two-speed compressor can switch its speed between low and high depending on how much cooling is needed. This can provide significant savings on cooling costs, because the A/C can operate on low about 80 percent of the time and still can keep your home comfortably cool.
Variable-Speed Air Handler
A variable-speed air handler can modulate its speed automatically to precisely match your cooling needs. It operates on the lowest speed approximately 75 percent of the time and runs almost continuously too. This saves energy and results in better air filtration, greater humidity control and more consistent temperatures in your home.
Automatic Fan Delay
Usually, the blower fan stops running in sync with the A/C compressor, so conditioned air remains the ductwork at the end of each cooling cycle. When the system has a built-in fan delay, the blower stays on briefly after the compressor cycles off so all the cool air is pushed out of the ducts and not wasted.
A fan-only switch on the HVAC system lets you use the blower for air circulation without running the A/C compressor, and it's especially beneficial if you have a whole-home ventilation system.