Reputable Orange County electrical, plumbing and HVAC company advises California homeowners on how to reduce costs and gain greater efficiency
YORBA LINDA, Calif. August 23, 2016 – Excalibur, a leading residential electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning company serving Orange County, California, makes useful recommendations for local homeowners on best practices when upgrading central heating and air conditioning in the home.
“Upgrading your heating and air conditioning unit gives every homeowner the opportunity to save money and to better control the temperature in their home,” said Brian Vardiman, owner of Excalibur. “When your HVAC system is running more efficiently, the result yields significant savings in monthly utility costs. Couple that with the tax credits for installing or updating approved energy efficient units, and you’re looking at a win-win financial situation.”
Today, air conditioning consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year in an average home. To be able to save money and become more energy efficient, Vardiman recommends an energy-efficient air conditioner that will greatly reduce the central air conditioner’s energy output.
Excalibur offers the following tips on what to consider when upgrading your central heating and air conditioning system:
- The best air conditioners available on the market today use 30 to 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners produced in the mid-1970s. Replacing an old unit with a newer, more efficient model can result in up to 40 percent savings in energy costs.
- Proper sizing and installation are key elements to consider in determining efficiency. If the unit is too large, it will not adequately remove humidity. If it is too small, it will not be able to attain a comfortable temperature when outside temperatures rise. The unit itself must be installed in an ideal location or else there will be a lack of proper insulation. If the duct installation is flawed upon installation, the efficiency of the unit will be greatly diminished.
- When weighing the options of buying an air conditioner, look for a model with high efficiency. Central air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. You should be looking specifically for a rating greater than 11.6 for maximum efficiency (and greater than 14 to qualify for tax credit).
- The lifespan of a central air conditioner is generally 15 to 20 years. If the unit is older than that and being replaced, look for energy-efficient models that have the ENERGY STAR® These are 15 percent more efficient than standard models. New residential central air conditioner standards went into effect on January 1, 2015; see the efficiency standards for central air conditioners for details, and consider purchasing a system with a higher SEER than the minimum for greater savings.
- Other features to look for when purchasing a new air conditioner include:
- A thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature rating (EER) greater than 12, for high-efficiency operation when the weather is at its hottest
- A variable speed air handler for new ventilation systems
- A unit that operates quietly
- A fan-only switch, so you can use the unit for night-time ventilation to substantially reduce air-conditioning costs
- A filter check light to remind you to check the filter after a predetermined number of operating hours
- An automatic-delay fan switch to turn off the fan a few minutes after the compressor turns off.