The Top 6 Features of a Great Air Conditioner
A new air conditioner is a big investment, but knowing what features to look for can help you save money up front and over the life of the equipment. From energy efficiency ratings to the type of thermostat to install and more, your HVAC professional can walk you through your options so you get the unit that is right for your Denver home and your budget.
Here are the top 6 features to consider in a new air conditioner.
1. Energy Efficiency
A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most efficient air conditioner you can afford. This will have the greatest impact on cost savings over the life of the equipment, and will help offset the higher up front cost.
Every air conditioner has a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which makes it easy to compare brands and models. Look for units with SEER ratings of 13 or greater. The higher the SEER, the more you can lower your energy costs.
New systems are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than minimum-efficiency models made even 10 years ago. So if you are replacing an older air conditioner, you will likely see significant energy savings.
2. Programmable Thermostat
This relatively inexpensive device can make an already efficient air conditioner even more efficient, by giving you the flexibility to control when and how you use it. For example, you can program the thermostat to change to a higher temperature during the day when no one is home and at night while you sleep. Proper use of a programmable thermostat can reduce your cooling costs up to 20%.
3. Quiet Operation
The sound of any appliance or motor that runs throughout the day and night can be annoying and disturbing. Many units produced today are designed to reduce noise. Mini-split systems tend to be quieter and unobtrusive. If noise is a particular concern, ask your HVAC professional to keep that in mind when making recommendations.
4. Advanced Controls
Zoning takes the flexibility of the programmable thermostat even farther. By dividing your home into zones, you can not only control the level of air conditioning by time of day, but also by area depending on how the space is used. For example, you can raise the temperature in the bedrooms during the day, when no one is using them, but keep it low in the main living area at the same time.
5. Variable Speed Systems
Variable speed blowers save energy by operating at a lower speed when demand on the system is low, which means lower utility bills as well as less wear and tear on your system.
6. Inverter-Driven, variable speed units
Inverter technology continuously regulates the temperature by controlling the speed of the compressor motor. A microcontroller samples each ambient air temperature and adjusts accordingly, resulting in increased efficiency compared to traditional air conditioners.
When shopping for a new air conditioner, overall, look for a central air conditioner that will save money and reduce energy consumption, while keeping you as comfortable as possible in your home.