Air conditioning is essential during a humid Columbia, Maryland, summer, but using your air conditioning can often come with high utility bills. If your unit is more than 10 years old, you may be considering a replacement. Replacing an older air conditioning system can help you avoid having to face inconvenient, expensive breakdowns. Discover ways you can save money, help the environment, and improve your home’s indoor air quality by upgrading your HVAC system.
Maximize SEER Ratings
The SEER, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is the total cooling output of an air conditioner or heat pump divided by its total energy consumption over a season. Systems with higher ratings are more energy-efficient systems.
Since 2015, all new units must have at least a 13 SEER rating, and systems rated up to 23 SEER are available. Many older systems run at less than a 6 SEER rating. While newer systems can be expensive at first, the lower utility bills over time can make this investment worth the initial expense.
Make Sure Your System Is the Right Size
SEER ratings show only the potential efficiency of an air conditioning system under ideal conditions. You also need to make sure that your system is the right size for your home.
If your system is too large, the unit will shut off before removing humidity from the air. This premature stop can encourage mold growth and make your home feel warmer. You may feel you have to lower the temperature on your thermostat to feel comfortable. If your system is too small, your unit won’t cool your home effectively.
A load calculation from one of our Griffith Energy Services professionals can consider factors such as the amount of insulation in your home, the amount of shade outdoors, the size of your home, and the number of windows. You should also calculate the correct system size for your ductwork. When ducts are too large or too small, the system can’t move air through your home efficiently.
Consider a Ductless HVAC System
Old ductwork can tear or become disconnected, allowing air to escape instead of reaching the rooms in your home. This situation can cause unequal warm areas in your home and poor indoor air quality.
If your HVAC technician finds leaks in your ductwork or encounters an older, less-efficient HVAC system, you should consider upgrading to a ductless or split-system air conditioner or heat pump. These systems are less expensive to install and more efficient than standard systems. Plus, you won’t need to spend money maintaining ductwork.
Ductless HVAC systems consist of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units connected by a small conduit. Each indoor unit cools a different area of your home and has its own thermostat. Some units come with remote controls so that you can avoid cooling empty rooms and family members can set temperatures in different areas to the desired comfort level.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Most programmable thermostats come with four settings for different times: morning, work day, evening, and sleep. The thermostats automatically raise the temperature of your home when you’re away or asleep, then lower the temperature again before you wake up or come home. With these thermostats, you can save energy while staying comfortable.
Many models can also control all the zones of a ductless system so you don’t have to pay for more than one thermostat. You can adjust the pre-programmed settings when you feel too hot or cold, but you should avoid frequent adjustments if you want to conserve energy and save money.
Programmable thermostats are available with touchscreens, voice activation, and indicators that check your indoor air quality and let you know when to change your system’s air filter. You can also control many programmable thermostats from your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Griffith Energy Services has helped homeowners heat and cool their homes for more than a century. We can help you decide how to upgrade your air conditioning for optimal energy savings. Our technicians maintain, repair, and install HVAC systems, as well as offer useful upgrades like programmable thermostats. Call us at 888-474-3391 for prompt, exceptional service from one of our 12 convenient locations in the mid-Atlantic region.
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