An energy efficient AC doesn’t just lower monthly cooling bills. In fact, advanced technology included in these units often provides better cooling performance, increased reliability and longer expected service life. In many cases, a higher energy-efficiency rating is also associated with advanced options to automate operation, support remote monitoring, and control and enhance indoor air quality.
How High Is High Efficiency?
Energy efficiency in a central air conditioner is generally rated by the unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. Expressed simply, SEER is a calculation that includes the total cooling capacity during a specific time frame divided by the amount of electricity consumed during that span. A standard-efficiency SEER rating is 13. High-efficiency units are those that rate above 16. The most efficient air conditioners range from 20 up to as high as 26. Most high-efficiency models of major brand names average around 22.
What Makes an AC an Energy Efficient AC?
- In contrast to standard-efficiency air conditioners that utilize single-speed compressors, an energy efficient AC incorporates a multistage compressor that continuously adjusts output — and electricity consumption — to meet the cooling load at a specific time. These units run nearly constantly instead of repeatedly cycling on and off like standard compressors. This operation is also more energy efficient and imposes less start-and-stop wear and tear on the expensive compressor components.
- A high-efficiency AC system may also include a variable-speed blower. Standard blowers have just two speeds: on and off. A variable-speed blower with an ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) runs essentially all the time across a range of output. It begins with higher speed to quickly achieve the desired thermostat setting, then gradually ramps down to a slower speed that supports continuous air circulation and keeps the indoor temperature consistent. Air filtration and humidity control are likewise uninterrupted. Variable-speed blowers in high-efficiency air conditioners typically consume as much as 60% less energy than a standard, single-speed blower.
Talk to the professionals at Jackson & Sons for more about the lower operating costs and advanced technology of an energy efficient AC.