Picking The Right Central AC System For Energy Efficiency

If you want a central air conditioning system, then you may be concerned about an increase in electrical usage. This is a real concern since a central AC system will use about 3,500 watts of power. This type of electrical usage is comparable to the energy that your water heater and dishwasher are likely to use. Thankfully, some cooling systems are more energy efficient than others. If you want to make sure that yours is not wasteful, then make sure to choose the right air conditioning units.

Pick The Correct Sized Unit

Many people believe that they should opt for the largest air conditioning unit they can afford. This way, the unit only has to turn on a few times a day and less electricity is used in the process. It is true that a large AC unit will turn on less often. However, it will probably use more energy when it does operate, and this will cause your electrical bills to skyrocket. Air conditioners are designed to work on a cycle with refrigerant moving from one part of the system to the other. The refrigerant is compressed and then pumped into the evaporator unit inside your house. The coolant absorbs heat from the air to cool it, and then flows back to the outdoor part of the system. This is where the coolant releases heat and is compressed again. 

Each part of this cycle requires the use of energy. However, this energy is wasted if the cooling system shuts down before the cycle is completed. For example, the coolant may be compressed and moved to the evaporator unit when it shuts down. While the refrigerant will be able to pull heat out of the air, it will be stuck on the evaporator side of the system. It will then release heat inside the home and negate the cooling that was completed previously. This is just one example of how energy is lost when the AC system stops abruptly.

Units that are too small are also a problem, since they will run continuously to try to cool the home. If the system constantly runs, it will use a great deal of electricity.

To avoid this sort of issue, choose the right sized air conditioning system for your home. You will need to consider the size of your home and the climate for your area. An online chart can help you to find AC size based on these factors. For example, if you live in NY state and have a 1,350 square foot home, then a 2 ton system will work good for you. If you live in Florida and have a 1,350 square foot home, then you should opt for a 2.5 ton unit. 

Look For A Filter Indicator

Most people know that they need to change their air filters every few months. A dirty air filter will restrict air flow and force your air conditioner to work harder to move cool air into your home. While it it wise to change or clean your filter on a schedule, your filter may become quite dirty in just a few weeks. This is likely to happen when the pollen levels are high outside your home or if dust flies up into the air during a dry spell. If you want to make sure that filter clogs do not cause high electrical bills, then invest in an air conditioning system that has a filter change indicator.

Some AC systems will come with indicator lights. Other systems will require you to place a digital thermostat in your home that alerts you when the filter needs changing. These devices typically keep track of air flow through the system and inform you that a filter change is needed when the air flow drops. Speak with your HVAC professional about the best filter indicator option for your needs.