There are many reasons for upgrading from an older AC unit to a new one. If your unit has been damaged or is no longer working, this may be a necessity. But even for air conditioners that are 15 or 20 years old and are still able to cool your home, upgrading to a new, more modern unit can be beneficial due to the increased efficiency of today’s air conditioners.
Due to advances in technology and changing standards for manufacturers, air conditioners are significantly more efficient than those of a decade ago. These innovations mean that new air conditioners require significantly less energy to run, providing savings on your utility costs that can offset the cost of the new AC installation.
How New AC Designs Increase Efficiency
The efficiency of an AC is described by its SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A higher rating means a more efficient appliance. 10 to 15 years ago, ratings averaged around SEER 10. As of 2015, SEER 13 is the minimum requirement for any new AC installations, but there are also ultra-efficient units that also go up to SEER 25. This gives you a range of options when you are choosing a new AC.
These higher ratings are possible through new technology that includes:
- More Efficient Motors – Running the blower motor is one of the more energy consuming tasks that your HVAC does. Motors have become more efficient in recent years across technology and appliances, so all new air conditioners benefit from this improved technology.
- Smaller Parts – With better materials and manufacturing processes, HVAC companies have been able to make their internal pieces significantly smaller. Smaller pieces require less energy to move, meaning the whole unit requires less power.
- Multistage Compressors – This is an optional feature, but one that allows ACs to reach that 25 SEER rating. The compressor requires the most energy to operate in an air conditioner. A variable compressor system makes it possible for the compressor to shift into different outputs depending on how much cooling power is needed, letting your unit run with far lower energy consumption.
- Variable Stage Fans – Another option available on more efficient ACs, these units adjust their fans to run at different speeds depending on how much output is needed. When less fan power is necessary to cool down a home, the AC will reduce the fan speed and run on considerably lower power.
- Age, Wear, and Tear – Another aspect that makes a newer AC more efficient than your existing unit is that an AC’s efficiency decreases over time. While the original SEER rating may have been 10, after 15 to 20 years that could drop to 7 or 8 as parts wear down and AC repairs may need to be more regularly made.
Because of these factors, AC replacement can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by anywhere from 25% to 50% depending on the new unit that you choose to install. This translates into extensive cost savings over the coming years.
Lewis Comfort Control are experts in air conditioning systems. We work with customers in Nashville to provide Nashville HVAC repair and AC replacement. If you are looking to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning, we can consider the various options available to you for installing a new unit with a high-efficiency AC option or making repairs to an existing unit. Learn more about our Nashville AC options when you call our team.