When you have a new air conditioning system installed, you'll want it to be energy efficient so it is affordable to operate and so you get the best value for your investment. An energy-efficient system is a combination of buying the right AC, installing it with energy efficiency in mind, and making sure your home doesn't have too many air leaks. Here's a look at these aspects in more detail.
Buying an Energy-Efficient AC Unit
When you look at different AC units, you'll see their energy labels that give some details on how the AC is expected to perform. If the AC meets the minimum requirements for energy efficiency, there will be an energy star on the label. The label also shows how much energy the unit puts out and how much it uses. These two values are then used to calculate the SEER and EER ratings for the air conditioner. The higher the SEER and EER values, the more efficient the air conditioner is when compared to other air conditioners.
However, these values don't take into account differences in local climates. That means it may not be necessary for you to spend more money and buy the most efficient air conditioner you can find. Your HVAC contractor can do further calculations and help you choose the right AC when it comes to size and energy ratings so your system is efficient yet fits your climate and budget.
Installing the AC to Be Energy Efficient
Your HVAC installer takes steps to make sure the AC installation makes the system as efficient as possible. This includes making sure the ducts are completely sealed so there are no leaks. You may even need to replace your ducts to achieve optimal results. Your contractor might also recommend you replace the indoor part of your AC at the same time the outdoor part is replaced so the two units work together in an efficient manner. In addition, installing a programmable or smart thermostat can make a big difference in how you use your AC and how much you can control the operating costs.
Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
All your efforts to install an energy-efficient AC system will be lost if your home has air leaks and poor insulation. You may want to add insulation to your attic if your old fiberglass batt insulation is worn down. In addition, be sure to check around windows and doors. You can stop heat transfer through them by adding film to glass, caulking gaps, and using weatherstripping and door draft stoppers.
Once your new air conditioner is installed and your system is as energy efficient as you can make it, then maintain your AC according to the directions from the contractor and manufacturer. If you get lax about preventative maintenance or changing the filter, your system could start to work less efficiently.
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