Air Conditioning - The Difference Between Low and High Efficiency Air Conditioners

If your air conditioning system is 10 years old or more, you can bet it is wasting a lot of energy and costing you a lot of money. Ten or fifteen years ago, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rate (SEER) of the best available air conditioner was around 6 to 8, which is less than half of today's high efficiency models with a SEER of 19 to 20. SEER is the measurement of how much energy and money spent to run the air conditioner is actually being converted into cold air. 

Older models also lose some of the SEER as they age. A model that was originally operated at 6 to 8 SEER, after many years, may be operating at SEERs as low as 6 or 4.

In addition to lower SEERs, older units are often improperly maintained. Dirt and moisture accumulate around the coils and ducts, while the A/C unit also becomes the breeding ground and dissemination device for mold and other common allergens, viruses, bacteria and many other pollutants. All of these pollutants will compromise indoor air quality and the health of your family 

A modern, high efficiency device contains an array of features that will not only cool the air more efficiently with much higher SEERs; but also filter and rid the air from dirt, viruses and moisture as it passes through the unit. High efficiency units are usually much larger than older models to allow for better heat dispersion. Two-compressor, two-stage units allow the air conditioner to run at only 70% of its capacity in cooler days. 

They also operate at variable speed, which draws moisture out of the air and saves energy.

Larry Janesky, president and owner of Dr. Energy Saver explains that the upfront cost of an air conditioning unit is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of costs. The bulk of the cost of having an air conditioner is paid in energy bills over the lifespan of the unit. It is not a smart move to get the least expensive unit to avoid higher upfront costs and end up spending 2 to 3 times more money to run the air conditioner over the years. 

If you are shopping for an Air Conditioner or Heating System upgrade, give Dr. Energy Saver a call. We will evaluate your home's energy consumption, and recommend only models that will give you the best savings per dollar invested, within your specifications and budget.

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