A/C Replacement in the Cards? Here’s Help for Upgrading
You don’t have to fear an A/C replacement. There’s a learning curve to replacing an air conditioner, generally because homeowners don’t do it very often, and technology changes quickly. Here’s a guide to upgrading your air conditioner that covers all the bases.
The efficiency of the A/C replacement you choose will generally dictate how much you pay in terms of monthly energy costs. That’s why the first step in an A/C replacement involves learning about efficiency ratings. If it was prior to 2006 since you last upgraded your A/C, you’ll be surprised to find that the federal government changed the minimum efficiency rating for air conditioners from Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 10 to SEER 13.
SEER isn’t the only efficiency rating to investigate. SEER rates a cooling system’s ability to generate cooled air compared to how much energy it consumes, while Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) rates a cooling system’s cooling output versus energy input at a particular operating pressure. EER is a valuable rating for homeowners living in milder climates because it shows high-performance capability, as it’s similar to vehicle performance on the highway. Minimum standards are currently set at EER 11.
Don’t just consider standard-efficiency air conditioners. Experts advise homeowners living in hot climates to purchase a high-efficiency A/C. Even with the higher upfront cost, you’ll net a high return on investment because the unit offers higher monthly energy savings to pay you back for the higher purchase cost, and it uses features that start and stop less frequently, reducing wear and tear and helping the unit last longer. These systems are also eligible for federal energy tax credits, which expire at the end of 2013.
High-efficiency systems employ features that standard A/Cs don’t. They include:
- Variable-speed air handlers
- Two-stage compressors
- Piston-type, grooved coils
- Thermal expansion valves
- Fan-delay switches
- Dehumidification modes
- Fresh-air intakes (providing ventilation without having to run the compressor)
If an A/C replacement is in the cards, contact Air-Tro for help. We’re glad to assist homeowners in greater Pasadena with upgrades, quality installation, repairs and maintenance plans. Give us call today or visit our website for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, visit our website.
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