Even as we thank our lucky stars in these hot summer months for the marvelous invention of the HVAC unit, we have to acknowledge that operating an air conditioner can cause damage to the ozone layer and to our increasingly fragile planet. Happily, there is a new breed of eco air conditioners that aims to change this without asking us to sacrifice the cool air we love.
In this post, learn more about today’s eco air conditioners, what makes them different, how they can save you money, and more!
Why Traditional A/C and Saving the Planet Don’t Mix
Air conditioning was first invented just after the turn of the century, and it caught on quickly. Today, if you have an air conditioner installed in your home, you are in good company with more than 80 percent of homes in North America.
But units made prior to the last decade exact a high price for their cooling benefits.
Here are three ways older A/C units are harming the planet:
Older A/C units use a type of refrigerant (hydrofluorocarbon) that is known to deplete the ozone essential for protecting our planet from the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays.
Older A/C units can suck up nearly half the average household’s power usage each month in high-usage months, placing a huge strain on available fossil fuel resources.
Older A/C units are less efficient at filtering out mould and mildew spores, particulate matter, and toxins, for reasons of design and simple age. This can cause a range of health issues from allergies and asthma to arthritis and viral illnesses.
How Upgrading to an Eco Air Conditioner Saves You Money
If you are trying to save money (and who isn’t these days?!), you probably took special note of the “energy drain” section here. Even though improvements are continually being made, to date the average household spends approximately 48 percent of monthly energy use just on HVAC operation.
However, upgrading your A/C unit to an Energy Star-certified eco air conditioner could save you as much as 20 percent on your monthly energy costs.
Example: So let’s say you spend $107 per month on energy use. That means you are spending just over $51 running your air conditioner.
But you decide to upgrade to a new Energy Star eco air conditioner, which cuts your power usage by 20 percent. So that means your monthly energy costs for air conditioning are now just $29. You save $22 per month, or $264 per year.
Plus, you are helping reduce the emission of harmful ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere and improving the quality of your indoor air to safeguard your family’s health. Best of all, since your A/C unit is new, you will spend far less on repairs, which can add funds back to your personal bottom line.
What an Eco Air Conditioner Does Differently
Today’s eco air conditioner has made a number of significant improvements on the design of its ancestors. Here are some of the most notable improvements you will enjoy when you upgrade:
- Quieter operation Today’s compressors offer different speeds to moderate both noise and level of cooling.
- Planet-friendly coolant The new type of refrigerant, R410A, is a replacement for freon (aka R22), which is now banned under a law that fully goes into effect in 2020. R410A is free of the harmful hydrofluorocarbons that deplete the planetary ozone.
- Energy efficiency The new air conditioning units come complete with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. A rating of 11.6 or higher means the unit will continue to operate at maximum efficiency even in extreme temperature conditions.
- Cleaner indoor air A new eco friendly A/C unit will be tightly sealed and efficient to prevent excess humidity, dust, and toxins from entering your indoor air supply and becoming trapped inside your duct system.
- Greater control in every way Today’s eco friendly air conditioners feature a number of controls to help you moderate energy use. Chief among these is the programmable thermostat. This tool allows you to cut back on A/C operation when no one is home or during cooler hours of the day/night.
Considerations When Choosing a New Eco Air Conditioner
There are several types of air conditioners, including the central HVAC unit (the most common), the ductless mini-split air conditioner, and the window unit air conditioner. The type of unit you select may have everything to do with whether you already have an existing duct system in place or not.
If you do not have an existing duct system, a window unit or ductless mini-split air conditioner can be a handy alternative to central A/C.
If you do have existing ductwork, you will want to have your HVAC service technician evaluate whether the existing ducts will be able to handle the volume of air. This is especially critical if you were using the ducts only for heat in the past and will now be adding air conditioning as well.
Once you have decided what type of air conditioner to install, here are other important considerations to look for:
- High (11.6+) SEER rating
- Programmable thermostat option
- Energy Star-certified unit
- Adequate for the size of your space
- Uses R410A refrigerant
Contact Shipton’s for Your A/C Needs
Here at Shipton’s, we are proud to be serving the Hamilton and surrounding areas for the 92nd year! Contact us by phone at 905-549-4616 or online for a free quote on a new eco air conditioner for your home or workplace.