One of the greatest expenses when you own a home is the cost of keeping it cool during the summer. For this reason, it’s important to purchase the most efficient unit when it comes time to upgrade your A/C. Most units come with a SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, that tells how energy efficient they are overall. Although new units sold in the U.S. must have a rating of at least 13, the higher the rating, the better the performance. In addition to identifying the SEER rating of a unit, there are other specific features you should look for to reduce your home’s cooling bill and make your home more comfortable.
- TXV: A TXV, or thermal expansion valve, is a component that adjusts the amount of refrigerant flowing through the coils based on the desired temperature. This ability to adjust keeps the air conditioner more efficient, cooling only the amount that’s necessary.
- Air handler with variable speed: This feature allows the unit to adjust the speed of the fan to suit the needs of the moment, rather than running at one speed all the time, like a single speed air handler. The variable speed option reduces wasteful energy, thereby saving you money.
- Fan-only operation: A very useful feature to have when upgrading your A/C is the ability to run just the fan without the compressor. This lets you circulate air in the home without spending money cooling it.
- Noiseless operation: Older units often make a great deal of noise when they start and stop. When buying, look for a unit that promises quiet operation.
- Delay switch: After the compressor shuts off, a delay switch causes the air handler fan to turn off a few minutes later. This means the system isn’t working as hard, saving energy instead.
- Alerts: Choose a system that provides warning lights for various issues, such as the need for a new filter.
- R-410A refrigerant: The older R-22 refrigerant is gradually being phased out over the next decade. Look for a unit that uses R-410A refrigerant, since it is considered environmentally friendly.
Upgrading your A/C is a big investment, and you should try to get the best value for your money. If you have any other questions about upgrading your A/C to a high-efficiency one, contact the experts at Smokey Mountain Heating & Air. We proudly service homes throughout the Asheville area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about upgrading your A/C and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Smoky Mountain Heating & Air services Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!