Getting The Most Out Of Your Air Conditioner
High Efficiency Air Conditioners.
There are many good reasons for wanting your air conditioning system to work as efficiently as possible. Energy efficient cooling saves energy use, which helps to conserve our natural resources and also helps to conserve your budget. According to www.energystar.gov, the average homeowner spends about $1,000 a year on heating and cooling costs, a significant household expense.
If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, it may pay for you to replace it with a more energy efficient model. High efficiency ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioning models can reduce cooling costs by 30%, according to ENERGY STAR estimates.
ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners have higher efficiency standards and ratings. High efficiency central air conditioners are rated according to Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), which measures the amount of energy necessary to provide a specific cooling output. The minimum SEER allowed today is 13. The higher the SEER number, the greater your potential energy savings will be. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled central air conditioning systems with SEER 13/14 or greater for best results.
High efficiency air conditioners, models with 16-23 SEER may cost more on the front end, but can be a long term investment in AC efficiency, according to www.consumersearch.com. Most have two-stage units for cooling efficiency and less frequent temperature maintenance cycling. Mid-range efficiency models (14.5 to 17 SEER) are often insulated better against noise and have sturdier hardware for weather resistance. Even today’s minimum efficiency units (13 to 14.5 SEER) are a step up from decade old high efficiency models.
In addition to choosing a high efficiency air conditioners, there are other steps you can take to keep your air conditioning system operating at peak efficiency. When installing a system, be sure to ask your air conditioning contractor where the best location for the condensing unit will be. If possible, install the condensing unit in a shady spot to reduce cooling costs. If moving the condensing unit isn’t practical or possible, think about putting in some shade plantings around it, but take care to regularly remove leaves and other debris that may fall onto the unit.
You might also consider installing a programmable digital thermostat which will automatically raise and lower temperatures as needed, conserving energy and keeping your home at comfortable temperature levels. You’ll need one for each air conditioning unit that cools your home. It’s a great tool for helping your air conditioner work efficiently while cutting down on energy waste when you’re not home or during hours when your home doesn’t need as much cooling. Of course, regular maintenance is also important to keep your air conditioner in top working order.
Be sure to choose an HVAC contractor who is knowledgeable about air conditioner efficiency options. For a no-cost analysis of the benefits and savings from replacing your system with a new, high efficiency model, contact ARS®/Rescue Rooter®. Your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® specialist is always available to offer you expert advice and service on AC repair, as well as on installation, maintenance and energy savings.