If your air conditioning unit is doing a pretty good job at cooling your home during the summers in Oklahoma City, you may be wondering if newer models are worth the investment. There is a lot of information about how modern AC units are more energy-efficient, but, why is this important?
Return on Your Investment
The number one reason to replace an older air conditioning system with an energy-efficient design is that you save money each month on your utility costs. Those savings help you to recoup the cost of purchase, and, after that, you can put the savings towards vacations, other expenses, college funds, or savings. But why, exactly, are modern air conditioners considered more energy efficient?
1. EPA Standards
Changes to AC unit designs began in the 1990s when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented the Clean Air Act. Specifically, manufacturers were required to phase out the use of freon that is considered a contributing factor to climate change. The act also motivated manufacturers to reduce energy consumption of their new models. The consumer market also evolved during this time as more homeowners looked for “green” or “environmentally-friendly” HVAC equipment, as well as ways to reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills.
2. Minimum SEER Ratings
During the time of eliminating freon from residential AC equipment, the EPA also introduced seasonal equipment energy ratios, also known as SEER ratings. Manufacturers are required to produce cooling systems that meet specific SEER ratings based on the location within the country where those units are sold. Manufacturers are also required to clearly state the SEER rating for each model on the outside of the packaging to help consumers choose the best model for their place of residence and budget. During the early years of SEER ratings, the minimum standard was eight or nine. In 2005, the EPA updated the standard for a minimum 13 SEER rating.
3. Introduction of Residential Heat Pumps
When you speak to one of our experts at TS Heat & Air, you might be perplexed by the recommendation to purchase a heat pump. The name is a bit misleading. A heat pump is a single unit that replaces both your AC and furnace. It uses the process of heat exchange to cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient options available to consumers.
4. Variable Speeds
You are probably familiar with the way that older AC systems work. They are either on or off and blow at high speed regardless of the temperature difference between the thermostat and ambient air. Variable speed, or two-stage, AC units offer better efficiency because they adjust the speed based on temperature differences. When the difference is relatively significant, such as five to 10 degrees, the unit operates at full capacity. When the temperature difference is less, such as two or three degrees, the unit operates at a reduced capacity. This design reduces your energy consumption and is considered more efficient for cooling.
One of the reasons that you may feel uncomfortable during the summers in Oklahoma City is that the humidity in your home is too high. An older AC unit can do nothing about removing the excess humidity. You either need to be uncomfortable or purchase a separate dehumidifier. Modern air conditioning systems manage humidity, as well as indoor temperatures. This means that you can run a newer model for less time compared to an older unit that does not change indoor humidity.
Choosing the Best AC System for Your Home
When you are choosing a new air conditioning system for your home, budget is only one factor. You need to consider the capacity that fits your cooling needs, as well as your current HVAC setup. The professionals at TS Heat & Air are here to help. We send over a technician who evaluates your current air conditioning system and recommends cooling units that keep you on budget and comfortable during the summer.
Learn More About New AC Systems
Since 1983, TS Heat & Air has provided Oklahoma City families with professional, reliable, expert heating and cooling services. We can help you with installation, repairs, and maintenance, including 24/7 emergency repairs. If you are looking for a new AC system for your home, give us a call! Be sure to ask about our indoor air quality products.