4 Reasons a New Air Conditioner May Reduce Your Energy Consumption
You may have noticed that your cooling bills keep climbing. While you can’t adjust energy costs, you can have some effect on how much energy you’re consuming, especially when it comes to keeping your home cool over the summer.
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. Consider these four reasons why replacing your air conditioner may help reduce your home’s energy consumption.
1. Improved Efficiency Standards
Over time, energy efficiency standards for air conditioners have improved. AC efficiency is represented by SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and is the total cooling output provided in BTU (British Thermal Units) divided by the total energy consumed in Watts over the entire cooling season.
For air conditioners manufactured between 2006 and 2022, the minimum efficiency was 13 SEER. However, that changed in January 2023, with the minimum efficiency manufactured now being 15 SEER. Remember, these are the minimum standards, and some units may reach as high as 30 SEER.
The difference in energy efficiency from a 14 SEER to a 20 SEER system is 43%. That means that, if everything else is equal, you’ll reduce the amount of energy you consume by nearly half. That’s enough to capture your attention, especially when you consider that it’ll also save you on the repair costs of an older system.
2. Properly Sizing Your AC
Having the right size air conditioner is incredibly important for many reasons. If your system is too big or too small, it won’t run at the rated efficiency. A system that’s too small will run longer cooling cycles than it should, constantly consuming energy. A system that’s too large will short cycle, which causes it to restart more frequently; this is the part of the cycle that consumes the most energy.
It’s not unusual for your home to require a different size air conditioner over time. This happens because of improvements and changes to your home, like additions, finishing a basement or attic, changes to heat-generating appliances, and so much more.
When you replace your air conditioner, you have the opportunity to make sure that the unit is the proper size for your home right now. A qualified installation technician will perform a load calculation, which is used to help determine the right-sized system for your home.
3. Avoiding Excessive Energy Consumption Due to Worn Parts
Every air conditioner wears over time as it’s used, even with proper routine maintenance. As the system ages, those worn components can make the system consume more energy. First, worn components may reduce the system’s efficiency, increasing the length of each cooling cycle.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Rather, worn components can increase electrical resistance. Increased resistance causes the system to draw more power to push through the extra resistance and keep the system running. Eventually, that extra resistance may cause the breaker to trip. However, until that happens, it will consume more power and slowly drive up your utility costs.
4. Getting Rebates and Incentives
Okay, so getting rebates and incentives may not reduce your energy consumption directly. However, they do help in putting higher efficiency systems within reach for many homeowners. These incentives provide a huge discount for systems that have a two-stage or variable compressor and variable speed fan. Normally, these units are more expensive than standard units, but they run the system on a lower setting about 80% of the time.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided several important rebates and tax credits for replacing your air conditioner with a higher-efficiency model. The Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit provides a 30% credit of up to $2,000 for replacing your air conditioner with a more efficient model. There’s also the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings rebate program, which offers up to $4,000 back when you reduce your home’s energy consumption by at least 35%.
For more than 60 years, BELOMAN has been the go-to company people around Belleville have trusted for keeping their homes comfortable and safe. Our experts provide heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair together with indoor air quality solutions and a wide range of residential plumbing services. Call to schedule your consultation with one of our trusted AC installation experts to see if a new AC may help save you some money this summer.