One of the most profound advances in A/C technology is the ability to achieve such high energy efficiency. An air conditioner’s ability to perform efficiently is indicated by its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Many old systems are as low as SEER 6. The minimum efficiency allowed for units manufactured after January 2006 is 13 SEER. However, advances in A/C technology allow modern air conditioners and heat pumps to achieve SEER ratings in the mid-20s.
Such impressive figures are thanks to the following advances in A/C technology, which are usually present in today’s high-efficiency systems:
- Thermal expansion valve: When compared to older piston valves, a thermal expansion valve is the better alternative for energy efficiency because it squeezes the most energy possible out of the refrigerant.
- Variable-speed air handler: A single-speed air handler has two settings: on and off. A variable-speed model is one of the best advances in A/C technology because it allows for quieter airflow and more consistent circulation to prevent uncomfortable temperature swings.
- Fan-only switch: Sometimes all you need at night is a little ventilation. Save significantly on your nighttime cooling costs by choosing an A/C with a fan-only switch.
- Automatic-delay fan switch: In older air conditioners, the compressor and the fan turn off at the same time. By allowing the fan to continue running for a few minutes, all the cold air trapped in the ducts is circulated into your home.
- Quiet operation: The days of booming compressors are over, thanks to advances in A/C technology that allow the outdoor unit to function more quietly. Quiet operation means less disturbance for both you and your neighbors.
- Check-filter light: You know it’s important to change the air filter regularly, but remembering is easier said than done. Simplify your life by choosing an air conditioner with a check-filter light to remind you that a certain number of operating hours have elapsed. As a failsafe, never leave the same filter in for longer than three months during the cooling season.
For more information about the newest advances in A/C technology, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We proudly serve residents of northwest Arkansas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C features and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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