When purchasing a new air conditioner, you should pay close attention to A/C features available for your new cooling system. Some of the A/C features that will have the most impact on your energy savings, as well as your overall purchase include:
A proper size A/C is imperative because a system that’s too large will waste energy, provide uneven cooling, wear out sooner, and not remove humidity properly, while a system that’s too small will struggle to cool your home on hot days.
The SEER(seasonal energy efficiency ratio) shows how well your A/C should convert electricity into cooling for your home. A SEER rating of 13 or higher is required in this country. Check the EnergyGuide label on the unit for the rating, and for high efficiency, look for an air conditioner with SEER 16 or above. New A/C units can save 20-50 percent of your energy costs if your current unit is 10 years or older.
Preferred A/C features
- An EER (energy efficiency ratio) greater than 11.6 to ensure optimum performance on hot days.
- A variable speed handler that adjusts its speed to circumstances in your home, saving energy and providing better cooling, humidity control and air filtration
- Quiet operation
- Fan-only operation for for use when you want air circulation but don’t require cooling
- Check-filter light
- Automatic delay between compressor and fan, so the blower will continue distributing residual cool air for a few minutes after the thermostat shuts off the compressor
Proper installation should entail:
- Proper refrigerant charge and airflow rates as outlined by the manufacturer
- Ducts that are checked for tight seals and proper design
- Following Air Conditioning Contractors of America load calculations for proper system sizing
- Condensing unit has clearance in the immediate area for proper airflow (no grass clippings, toys, other objects)
- Thermostats are away from sources of warmth or cold
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C features and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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