| Standard vs High Efficiency |
Among the benefits of today’s high efficiency
heating and cooling systems are:
The benefits described here are only possible when the system has been properly sized and installed. Who you choose to install your new system is even more important
than the system you choose.
". . . a high efficiency air conditioner
. . . may waste significantly more energy than a properly installed lower-efficiency unit. Further, an improper installation could lead to poor indoor air quality and structural degradation."
Joint report of Air Conditioning Contractor of America, the NY State Energy Research & Development Authority, and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
- Lower energy bills. Even today’s “standard” systems are likely more efficient than the system it will replace. Federally-mandated “minimum” standards have steadily risen in recent decades.
- Lower cost environmentally-friendly chlorine-free R410-A refrigerant. The ozone-depleting R-22 chlorofluorocarbon R-22 is no longer available for newly manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps. And while it’s still available for servicing older units, production has been cut. As a result, it’s price has already more than tripled in just the past year. At the same time, the cost of the new refrigerant has steadily declined. As more and more homes convert to the new refrigerant, the cost of the older refrigerant will continue to rise as that of the new refrigerant will continue to fall.
- Two-stage burners and compressors that operate at lower rates to save energy. Only on those really cold winter and hot summer days will these systems operate at 100%. The rest of the time, they’re keeping you warm but with considerable energy savings.
- Improved circulation, better air quality, greater humidity control & reduced temperature swings with power-saving variable speed blowers. In place of standard system’s on-or-off-only option, fans ramp up gradually to a speed matched to current demand. Slower speeds when temperatures are moderate, higher speeds only when temperatures soar.
- Greater summer comfort at higher thermostat settings. The low-consuming variable speed fan keeps air moving for longer periods. This enhances humidity removal at the coil and keeps family members cooler in the living space even at higher thermostat settings. Of course, that means lower electric use. Because the variable speed fan is low-consuming, it can be set to run continually further enhancing cooling. Even greater cooling and savings can be obtained with the addition of advanced thermostats. These not only offer the most effective humidification in winter but in summer work in concert to remove more moisture than a standard system saving signicantly on cooling costs.
- Longer equipment life. With new refrigerant and compressor design, today’s air conditioners and heat pumps run at lower pressures and cooler temperatures with fewer moving parts.
- Reduced noise levels — both inside your home & out in the yard. No more whoosh as your system comes on. Changes in blower speeds are so gradual, you probably won’t notice. Because compressors and burners work at lower rates most of the time, their noise is cut as well. Today’s high efficiency units have improved sound dampening built in as well.
Next: Why Replace Your Air Conditioner with a Heat Pump
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