When you’re considering a new cooling system for your home, take a good look at high-efficiency air conditioning equipment. Given the heat and length of our southwest Arizona summers, the initial cost of an air conditioner can be recovered more quickly when you choose systems that meet the minimum efficiency requirements of the federal Energy Star program.
The U.S. Department of Energy rewards manufacturers of HVAC and other kinds of energy-consuming equipment with the Energy Star logo when the product exceeds certain energy standards. In the case of air conditioners, the government’s minimum efficiency for a new central air system stands at 13 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). However, the minimum SEER to achieve the Energy Star label is 14, and most experts consider 16 as the minimum for a truly high-efficiency system.
An air conditioner can quality for the Energy Star label as long the extra cost for the product can be recovered by the consumer within a reasonable time frame and the technology is not proprietary. In the case of high-efficiency air conditioning for our region, that cost recovery can be quick, since the cooling season is so long.
Upgrades that raise the SEER or EER of an air conditioner can include one or more of these features:
- Electronically commutated motors (ECMs). These motors, also called variable-speed, use less electricity than single-speed motors. They run more quietly, slowly and continuously, and remove more humidity, helping you feel cooler. An air conditioner can use an ECM in the air handler or condenser, or both.
- Dual-speed compressors. This type of compressor adjusts the amount of refrigerant it sends to your air handler inside. When the weather is cooler, it sends less, which lowers electrical consumption, more commonly during milder cooling weather.
If you’d like to know more about high-efficiency air conditioning, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve provided quality HVAC services to the Yuma area since 1952.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high-efficiency air conditioning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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