If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system this summer, you’ll probably encounter terminology and A/C features with which you may be unfamiliar. A/C technology has improved over the last few years that improve efficiency and comfort. This guide can make you familiar with some of the components that can increase your comfort and save electricity.
The most important term you’ll encounter is the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating, whose minimum stands at 13. The SEER ratings can climb into the mid 20s, and each single increase means that the system uses 10 percent less electricity for the same amount of cooling.
These are some of the features that work well in our climate that increase efficiency:
- Dual-speed compressor. The compressor sits in the outdoor condenser and instead of running at one speed, a dual-speed unit adjusts its running speed to match the amount of cooling your home needs. It saves electricity because it doesn’t run at high speed each time the system turns on.
- Variable-speed motor in the blower. Systems with this type of motor, also known as an electronically commutated motor (ECM) offer quiet operation and better humidity removal. An ECM uses a fraction of the electricity that single-speed motors use and since they’re brushless, tend to last longer.
These A/C features won’t raise the SEER, but indirectly lower your cooling costs:
- Fan-delay switch. This part runs the fan in the blower a few minutes after the condenser turns off, which circulates all the conditioned air in the ducts.
- Filter-check light. A clean filter helps your A/C system run at peak performance. This light tells you when it’s time to check the filter. It also prolongs the system life, because a dirty filter creates wear inside the equipment.
- Fan-only setting. This feature lets you run the blower even if the A/C is off, so you can circulate the air when you don’t necessarily need to cool it.
If you’d like to learn more about these A/C features and more, contact Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Calgary area since 1963.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta 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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