If you want to replace your air conditioner, there are a lot of models out there to consider. Let’s face it – air conditioner shopping isn’t as fun as shopping for other high-ticket items, like cars. Air conditioners are not particularly attractive, and when installed in your home you rarely notice their presence – that is, until they stop working.
Air conditioners keep your home comfortable. After all, they allow us to live comfortably in the Birmingham heat! Like any other high-ticket item, though, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest product that will get the job done. We get it, and always respect our customer’s budget. That said, high-efficiency air conditioner systems may cost a little more up front, but their benefits can help you reap the rewards over the life of the equipment.
This Isn’t Your Grandma’s Air Conditioner
The first thing to consider is that the high-efficiency systems of today are quite different than air conditioners of years past. They still work on the same principle – warm air from your home is converted to cool air, thanks to evaporation coils filled with refrigerant. Unlike older systems, new energy-efficient systems often come with features that allow cooling to take place with a little more control. For example, variable speed air handlers allow cooling and dehumidification to take place continuously, just not at full-throttle like older systems. Two-stage compressors enable your system to back off on cooling during milder conditions, resulting in a cool home that requires less power. And automatic-delay fan switches mean that every bit of cool air in the system makes it to your living areas.
More Efficient Cooling
High-Efficiency Air Conditioners have a higher SEER rating. SEER, also known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, tells you the amount of cooling an air conditioner produces vs. the amount of energy it needs to deliver that cool air. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
A high SEER rating can translate into a home that is cooled more efficiently. The efficiency, combined with other features listed above, and additional design approaches and tools such as zoning and programmable thermostats, means that your home stays at peak comfort levels 24/7.
The combination of a higher SEER rating and the special features usually included with high-efficiency air conditioners mean that cooling your home can come at a lower cost. Savings on energy bills over time can be substantial and are one of the deciding factors when opting for an energy-efficient system. We do want our clients to know, however, that these savings require some time…it’s not an immediate return on investment. Over a span of years, homeowners see reduced energy bills and love the comfort these systems provide.
It should be noted, however, that any household looking to replace an existing HVAC system with a high-efficiency system should also have an energy audit done on their entire home. A high-efficiency system won’t work as well, say, in a home with draft or insulation issues. It should be installed in a home without existing energy problems for the homeowner to see the full benefit of a reduced energy bill.
Another money-saving benefit to consider? Well-made, high-efficiency systems often suffer fewer breakdowns. Because they don’t run a full-strength every time they are turned on, the wear and tear on parts is lessened. Other safety features help prevent problems such as a freezing system. With routine maintenance (e.g., changing your filter monthly), the lifetime of these machines can extend well beyond what you might expect. All the money saved from fewer repairs and replacements goes right back into your pocket.
One of the best features of a high efficient air conditioner is the lower decibel rating. High efficient systems are designed to operate quieter with the help of extras like a compressor sound blanket. Your guests will enjoy the party in your backyard since they will not have to yell to ear each other over the air conditioner.
Rebates and Incentives
Higher efficient systems may cost more on the front end, but rebates and incentives will reduce the initial cost. Instant rebates are the best because you do not have to wait for a check or gift card in the mail.
The Bottom Line: High-efficiency air conditioners are an excellent option for those who need to replace an existing system. They save money in the long run if sized properly, installed by a licensed HVAC contractor, and maintained semi-annually. A longer lifespan means you’ll squeeze every penny out of your investment and lower your overall cost of ownership.
Call today 871.8111 to schedule a Free Consultation to learn how much you’ll save with a new high efficient air conditioner and heater.