Ask Any Hour: Benefits of Upgrading to a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner


My air conditioner still works but it’s getting old and I’m concerned it’s wearing out.

What are the benefits of upgrading my AC to a newer, high-efficiency one?

high-efficiency air conditioner benefits


Coming into spring, many of us are thinking about our air conditioners and whether or not they are up for another hot summer. However, it can be kind of confusing to sort through all the information on HVAC systems--especially with all the technical industry terms that may be unfamiliar to you.

So, let’s start by asking yourself two questions about your current air conditioner:

  • How often does your AC break down or need to be repaired?
  • How high was your utility bill during the hot, summer months last year?

If those numbers are both high, then you could look at saving quite a bit by installing a new air conditioner.

Simply put, a newer model air conditioner will be more energy efficient than an old one. Air conditioners are evaluated on their energy usage with what is called a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): the higher the SEER number, the more efficient the air conditioner is at cooling your home.

Since 2005, all ground unit air conditioners in the United States are required to have a minimum SEER of 13. Furthermore, a SEER rating of 16 or above is considered high-efficiency. You can see the SEER rating for your unit by looking at the Energy Guide sticker on your air conditioning unit. It is not uncommon for an older air conditioner to have a SEER in the single digits.

When looking at replacing your air conditioner, high-efficiency systems are definitely worth considering. 

Here are a few of the benefits:

  1. Lower Utility Bills – High-efficiency systems with higher SEER ratings use less energy, which translates to less money spent on energy bills. In fact, switching from an old 8 SEER unit to a 16 SEER unit can save you up to 50% on your energy bill. Bottom line: higher efficiency = lower bills.

  2. Incentives/Rebates – Many government incentives and/or manufacturer rebates are offered for buying a high-efficiency AC unit. By taking advantage of such offers and incentives, getting a high-efficiency system could end up costing about the same as a standard AC unit.

  3. Faster Cooling – Newer AC units are not only more efficient, they cool quicker too. Air conditioning units work by cooling your home’s air until its temperature matches the thermostat setting. When the air reaches the desired temperature, the AC unit then stops until it’s needed again. New AC units reach their desired cooling temperature much faster. Therefore, you get to enjoy cool air faster than before and your AC unit doesn’t end up running as long per cycle.

  4. Environmental – Because a high-efficiency system uses less energy, it emits fewer greenhouse gasses. Less electricity also means fewer fossil fuels are being used, which is good for the environment as well as your wallet.

  5. Humidity – As a high-efficiency AC helps keep the air at the preferred temperature, it can also more effectively remove moisture from the air. 

So, if you’ve taken a look at your old unit and feel you might be ready for a new one, there are many good reasons to consider replacing your AC system and getting a high-efficiency air conditioner installed. While also being kinder to the planet, a new unit could also save you some money during the hot, summer months.

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Author: Amber Smith-Johnson
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Jun 1st 2022

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