May 15, 2017
By Mark Paup

Upgrading to High Efficiency Air Conditioning This Year

Updated January 23, 2024

In April, we wrote a post about understanding air conditioning efficiencies, specifically SEER and EER. The higher the efficiency rating, the better a system is at converting electrical power into cooling power. Although higher efficiency ratings aren’t a guarantee of savings because other factors must be weighed, in general, you can count on lower AC costs if you have a professional handle selecting the high-efficiency unit and installing it.

In this post, we’re going to examine closely how special high-efficiency air conditioning systems manage to outperform older systems. We hope you’ll consider a high-efficiency air conditioning installation in Des Moines, IA if this is the year when you put in a new system. Get in touch with our trained technicians for the help you’ll need to end up with the best possible new home cooling system.

Improved Construction

One reason for higher energy efficiency from current air conditioners, even those that aren’t specifically marked as “high efficiency,” is that the technology of building cooling equipment is better than ever. The cooling fins in the evaporator, as well as the coil in the outdoor condenser, are made from a thinner and more conductive material, allowing for easier heat transfer. The motors running the fans are smaller and drain less electricity to provide the same amount of power.

Variable Speed Fans

This is one of the key features to look for in a high-efficiency AC. A standard air conditioner has an air handler with a single-speed fan: the fan is either on or off. A variable-speed fan, on the other hand, can drop down to work at 60% of full capacity. The air handler automatically shifts between the two speeds depending on the cooling requirements of the home. The majority of the time, the fan will operate at a lower capacity, helping to save energy. This also benefits home comfort, since it creates an even spread of cooling rather than lowering the temperature too far too fast.

Multi‑Stage Compressors

Here’s another important feature to look for when you want a high-efficiency system (20 SEER or greater). With a multi-stage compressor, the air conditioner doesn’t have to operate at full power when cooling needs are lower. Because the compressor uses the most power of any component in the AC, having it operate at lower levels is a great way to cut down on energy use. The lower amount of stress on the compressor helps to prevent breakdowns as well. Multi-stage compressor air conditioners are also excellent if you want to have a zone control system installed since the compressor can drop down to using less power when fewer zones require conditioned air. It’s an excellent combination to lower your energy use.

You may still have an AC that’s working fine, although it’s getting along in age (i.e., it’s more than 10 years old). In this case, we recommend you think about replacing it anyway… with a variable-speed fan or multi-stage compressor unit. It means you’ll begin saving money and not have to worry about a system breakdown shortly.

At Golden Rule, “We Obey the Rules to Live By!”

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