A new air conditioning system is a significant purchase and not likely one that you’ll make often, at least you better hope not. When you’re in the process of selecting this equipment, consider air conditioning features that lower the electrical consumption, lowering your bills. The U.S. Department of Energy mandates a minimum amount of air conditioning efficiency, measured in SEER ratings. SEER, seasonal energy efficiency ratio, must start at 13. Systems with higher SEER ratings use less electricity.
These air conditioning features can increase the SEER:
Variable-speed motors. The technical name for these motors is electronically commutated motors (ECMs). They use electricity more efficiently and increase the SEER. Central air conditioners have outdoor condensers and indoor air handlers. ECMs can be placed in either unit or both. Indoors, they run at lower operating speeds, remove more humidity, offer more comprehensive air filtration, and run much quieter than single-speed motors.
Thermal Expansion Valve (TXV). This valve sends more refrigerant to the air handler’s evaporator coil for increased cooling. During the spring, fall and on cooler days and nights, the compressor doesn’t have to work as hard, saving electricity.
Dual-speed compressor. This works like a TXV in that it varies the amount of refrigerant it compresses, responding to weather conditions. Systems without a TXV or dual-speed compressor run at high speed all the time, regardless of the temperature, which increases your electric bills.
Fan-delay switch. While this feature doesn’t increase the SEER rating, it does help you harvest all the remaining conditioned air in the ducts. It runs for a short period after the compressor shuts off, pumping all the chilled air through your home instead of leaving some of it in the ducts.
Filter light switch. These contribute to lower bills by reminding you when to check, clean or change the air filter for the air handler. Dirty filters increase energy costs, reduce indoor air quality and contribute to wear and tear on the whole system.
If you’d like to learn more about air conditioning features that save money and increase summertime comfort, contact Climate Control Company. We’ve provided HVAC services for communities in Western Colorado for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioning and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado.