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Is a high efficiency AC worth the investment

Homeowners understand the necessity of consistently using their air conditioning during the high temperature summer months. Because running the A/C creates a comfortable oasis to beat the heat outdoors. But keeping the A/C running at home can also spike the home’s utility bills to cover this seasonal need.

It’s an unfortunate choice homeowners have to make, and many would like a break from those rising bills, preferably without sacrificing their cool home or succumbing to the rising heat. Which is why those same homeowners tend to explore the benefits of installing a high efficiency air conditioning system in their homes.

Newer home A/C systems tend to be more efficient than older systems, which will cut down on power consumption, and a high efficiency label implies that the system should maximize those power saving benefits — but is a high efficiency A/C system worth the investment for your home? Can it save homeowners money and beat the summer heat by keeping home’s as cool as possible?

SEER Scores and What Makes an A/C High Efficiency

A home A/C needs to meet certain parameters to be considered “high efficiency” — it’s not just a term that’s thrown around. The efficiency of air conditioners is rated on a scale known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) scale, where a higher rating on the scale means an air conditioning unit is more efficient than a unit that ranks lower on the scale.

The full scale and the score a unit receives is based on a calculation of a unit’s cooling output compared to its energy intake in a given cooling season. This standard reaches beyond just ranking one air conditioner to another, though — the Department of Energy (DOE) has set a federal standard for the minimum efficiency air conditioners need to meet since 1992, where the initial minimum efficiency rating was set at 10 SEER. This federal minimum rating has been raised over the year, though, rising to 13 SEER in 2015, and increasing again to 14 SEER by January, 2023.

This means a few different things for homeowners. The first is that homeowners who are using a unit manufactured prior to 2015 could have a unit that falls below the federal minimum SEER rating. This is not ideal, as it means the units are likely using more power and costing more money to run to provide the same amount of cooling that a more efficient unit could provide for less energy and less cost to homeowners. And this increases as those older units continue to age.

This also means that homeowners looking to upgrade to a new, high efficiency A/C unit will want to set the bar a bit higher to maximize their investment. Air conditioning units can currently reach as high as 26 SEER score, not including custom built specialty systems than can achieve even higher scores. This creates a wide variety of choices for households working across different budgets.

Will Homeowners Save Money with a High Efficiency A/C?

High efficiency air conditioning is an investment for homeowners up front. As air conditioning units go up in efficiency levels, they also increase in price. Additionally, homeowners will need to consider the cost of installing the new unit, and the potential cost of updating their ductwork to account for a new A/C unit.

That said, high efficiency A/C units provide a number of cost saving considerations that can offset the initial sticker shock of a new A/C unit, especially for home’s upgrading from units that are 10–20 years old, including:

  • Reduced monthly utility bills 
  • Enhanced comfort benefits, such as more consistent indoor temperatures and improved control over indoor humidity
  • Longer life and newer components lead to lower maintenance costs from wear and tear
  • Higher resale value for the home
  • Rebate offers on new systems to offset the cost of the unit
  • Increased savings with the addition of a programmable thermostat    

The real value of a high efficiency air conditioner comes over time, as the home feels cooler and more comfortable, with increased air flow and reduced effort to make a pleasant atmosphere all around. 

Deciding to upgrade any home system is a major consideration that should not be taken lightly. If you have additional questions about the benefits of high efficiency A/Cs, if you have already decided an upgrade is right for you, or if you have any other heating or cooling questions, reach out to the HVAC experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling. With over 30 years of experience helping homeowners optimize their home comfort, the professionals at Duane Blanton are prepared with the solutions to help with any of your home heating and cooling needs. Reach out today, at (815) 781-2567 or schedule conveniently from your couch, when it’s convenient for you, using their online scheduling portal

Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling is proud to be a Bryant Authorized Dealer, offering top-quality heating and cooling options to fit the specific needs of Duane Blanton customers. The quality, comfort, and efficiency of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems’ products naturally aligns with Duane Blanton’s drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Ask a Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling expert today about the advantages of upgrading to a new Bryant Heating & Cooling system for your home!

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