Selecting a central air-conditioning system may give you pause when it comes to its price tag, but spending a few more dollars to get a high efficiency A/C system may be the better investment.
High efficiency equipment uses less electricity and can greatly increase your indoor comfort. And the payback period may be shorter compared to less a efficient system that costs more to operate.
The lowest efficiency rating stands at Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 13. In general, a system with the following features will raise the SEER, which gives you more efficient cooling:
Electronically Commutated Motors (ECMs) — This feature raises the SEER because it will use considerably less electricity. Manufacturers typically place them in the air handlers or outdoor condensers, and while their main draw is decreased electricity consumption and a higher SEER, they tend to reduce noise levels, too.
Dual-speed compressors — A compressor that runs at top speed only when the weather is hottest saves energy and wear and tear on your system. During milder weather, the compressor won’t run at top speed and in the spring, fall and early hours of the day, you’ll save electricity
These features don’t contribute to raising the SEER of high-efficiency A/C systems, but they do add comfort and efficiency to your air conditioner:
Fan-delay switch — Normally the fan in the air handler shuts off when the condenser does. This switch, however, lets the fan run a few minutes longer to remove all the cooled air from the ducts, increasing your comfort and using all the air you’ve paid to condition.
Fan-only switch — This switch on the thermostat lets you run the air handler constantly to circulate the air. Since moving air feels cooler, your comfort increases. However, if your air handler doesn’t use an ECM, using this option can increase operating costs.
Filter sensors — The condition of your air filter is one of the air conditioner’s most important components. These sensors tell you when to check or replace it.
If you’d like more information about high-efficiency A/C systems, contact Cooper Climate Control- Your Heating & Cooling Specialists for the all of Valley-Metro area since 1993.