The efficiency of air conditioners has seen significant improvement in the modern era, allowing these units to be more energy-efficient compared to models of the past. The need to develop an energy-efficient air conditioner comes from an increase in the average temperatures around the globe, inflation of energy prices, and increased competition in air conditioning manufacturing.
Most types of air conditioners are known to use a lot of energy to operate because of the repeated cycles of cooling required for them to function. In a typical household, the AC unit is the most energy-consuming device. Whether it is the advent of new materials used for the construction of an air conditioner or changes to the design of these systems, innovations in HVAC technology have allowed modern AC units to operate with higher efficiency.
How Is the Energy Efficiency of an Air Conditioner Measured?
The energy efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in either SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficacy Ratio) or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). The EER measures the efficiency of the air conditioner against an outdoor temperature of 95 F. The SEER also takes into account the different times of the year. Depending on the brand and model of air conditioner, modern units offer better EER and SEER ratings compared to older air conditioning models. Upgrading to an air conditioner with a 14 SEER rating from an older model that has a 10 SEER rating means a 40% improvement in energy efficiency.
Technology Used in Modern Air Conditioners
The compressor is the most energy-consuming component of an air conditioner. Older models of air conditioners use a fixed-speed compressor. Modern AC units do not need to operate at maximum power all the time. With the use of variable-stage fans, modern cooling systems can adjust the speed of the compressor.
Several modern air conditioner models use inverter technology (DC) for the compressor of the air conditioner. The inverter is used to control the speed at which the compressor operates. The DC inverter continuously adjusts the speed of the compressor according to the requirements of the air conditioner’s settings. Not only does a DC inverter increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, but it also maximizes the lifespan of the unit’s parts and reduces the noise generated by the system.
Improvement in Air Conditioner Refrigerant
The role of the air conditioner refrigerant is to cycle through the unit, absorbing and releasing the heat from the air that flows through the cooling system. If you have scheduled AC service, the technician would have checked the pressure of the air conditioner refrigerant to determine if the level is low and an “AC recharge service” is required. An air conditioner is not able to properly cool the air without the adequate level and condition of the refrigerant.
Most air conditioners before 2010 used R-22 refrigerant, which is now being phased out by most air conditioner manufacturers. Advancements in technology used for refrigerants have allowed the development of more energy-efficient refrigerants, such as R-410A. The improved heat transferability of the R-410A refrigerant allows the air conditioner to reach its set temperature settings more efficiently. R-410A is also more environmentally friendly compared to R-22, which is made of ozone-depleting substances. The type of refrigerant depends on the type of air conditioner, so do not replace the refrigerant of your AC unit without consulting with a professional and licensed technician.
Contact US at Controlled Climate Services for HVAC Services
If you own an older model of air conditioner, you should consider upgrading to a new unit with a high energy efficiency rating. Our technicians can guide you in choosing the right cooling system for your needs. At Controlled Climate Services, we offer a complete range of HVAC services for residents of Kennesaw, GA, and the surrounding areas. We have more than 25 years of experience, and our company employs highly experienced, certified, and licensed technicians. We equip our team members with high-quality tools to provide the best HVAC service possible.
Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment. Our team can help with heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance as well as ventilation and indoor air quality services. We are also able to provide emergency HVAC repair services. Our team will be glad to address any questions or concerns you may have about your air conditioner and how to improve its energy efficiency.