What’s the Difference Between High Efficiency and Low Efficiency Units?
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that Americans used 98 Quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btu) in 2015. The top energy uses were electricity generation, transportation, commercial, residential, and industrial.
Energy demand will increase to 4,000 billion kWh in 2023 up from 3,930 billion kilowatts in 2021. The Energy Information Administration estimates that more than a third of electricity in the United States will come from hydropower, wind, and solar.
In response to the growing demand for power in the United States, the Department of Energy has emphasized more efficient appliances. Air conditioning systems are one of the leading electricity users in most American homes. That’s why it’s important to buy high-efficiency air conditioners because they consume far less electricity than standard or low-efficiency HVAC.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure of an HVAC’s overall efficiency. This ratio measures the cooling efficiency of standard air conditioners and measures how efficient or inefficient a conditioner is in cooling or heating.
Beginning in 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy set a minimum SEER rating for all HVAC. During this time, all HVAC had to meet a minimum SEER rating of 10. And in 1997, a new minimum was set at 14 SEER.
Over the years, a new SEER rating has been adopted for more efficient air conditioning systems:
- 1992 – 10 SEER
- 2006 – 13 SEER
- 2015 – 14 SEER
- 2023 – 15 SEER
According to the Department of Energy, new, more efficient air conditioners will reduce utility bills by 40%. And by upgrading from mid-range to high-efficient AC equipment, homeowners in southern states will get a huge return on their investment.
So, what precisely is the difference between high-efficiency and low-efficiency units? The next section of this post looks at the factors that distinguish high-efficient units from low-efficient AC units.
High-efficient HVAC units are new systems than their predecessors because they’ve leveraged new technology. High-efficient units operate with exceptional variable compressors because they reduce and adjust the levels of coolness and warmth without necessarily turning on and off.
The secret to an environment’s comfort lies behind three fundamental factors:
- The outdoor condensing unit
- Indoor variable speed blower
- The intelligence of the controller
New air conditioners are efficient because their compressors can variably control the airflow and refrigerant flow. This seamless control and variability in airflow mean that homeowners get the capacity they want when they need it. Nothing more and nothing less.
In addition, high-efficient air conditioners control your room’s temperature with minimal energy consumption. The conditioners keep the temperature consistent over a long period.
Cycling on and off an air conditioner only causes wear and tear and doesn’t necessarily keep your house consistently cool the way you want it. In addition, regular cycling on and off causes large bursts of expensive energy.
Therefore, it’s good to keep investing in newer air conditioners.
The Benefits of Newer ACs are as follows:
- Cost-efficiency: Newer units are more efficient in turning hot air into cold, keeping your energy bills significantly lower.
- Variability: Newer ACs feature variable air speed adjusters that give the system more control and better efficiency.
- Better filtration: High-efficiency ACs have thicker, larger-surface media filters which means the air circulating in your room is a lot cleaner and less dirt makes it into your AC system.
- Sound reduction: There are up to 58 decibels in some air conditioners due to upgraded blades and compressor sound blankets.
- Continuous blower system: A fundamental bonus of a high-efficient AC is the continuous nature of air circulation in the AC. Lesser efficient models have irritating on/off cycles, but high-efficient ACs provide continuous air circulation regulating humidity and reducing random air bursts.
Low-efficient units are cheaper to buy but more expensive to maintain. These systems are not efficient in turning hot air into cold and do not have optimal humidity and temperature controls. Low-efficient units are single-stage models of ACs with irritating on/off cycles and are considerably louder than their high-efficient counterparts.
Which Units Should You Buy and Install
Although high-efficient air conditioners cost more in the short term, they end up costing less in the long term. High-efficient units last longer cost less to maintain and utilize less electricity.
Investing in a quality air conditioner is an important part of keeping your family safe and sound. In addition, a high-efficient unit can help you maintain your home and reduce energy utility bills.
Therefore, before embarking on your journey of purchasing an HVAC unit, it’s important to weigh the investment, the duration of time you’ll remain in the building, and the cost you’ll save on your energy utility bills.
Briggs Heating and Cooling Company — Your Ultimately Comfort Advisor
A professional HVAC provider can help you weigh your options. So, if you’re looking for the most efficient commercial and residential cooling, Briggs Heating and Cooling Company is your ultimate comfort advisor.