Air Conditioners and Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Air Conditioners Will Reduce your Monthly Electric Utility Bills

By Mark J. Donovan

Air conditioners play a major role in keeping the majority of us comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact 2 out of 3 U.S. homes have air conditioners in them. With over 125 million homes in the U.S. alone, that’s over 83 million homes with air conditioners. Due simply to the sheer volume installed, air conditioners consume approximately five percent of all the electricity in the United States. Consequently, energy inefficient air conditioners share tremendously in contributing to global pollution and green house emissions.

One way we can all do our part in reducing green house emissions, while still staying cool in the process, is to use energy efficient air conditioners. Energy efficient air conditioners can save dramatically on energy consumption.

They can also significantly reduce homeowner energy bills. New Energy Star rated air conditioners, for example, by themselves can reduce home energy consumption by 20 to 30%. Combined with better insulating your home, installation of sun blocking window treatments, and using proper tree shading on southwestern exposures, summer home energy air conditioning bills can be cut nearly in half.

With almost every new homebuyer demanding air conditioning today, even if the home is located in cooler climates, a central air conditioning system should be part of every new home construction plan. Central air conditioner systems are highly efficient and do an incredibly good job in cooling the entire house. In addition, they don’t block up windows like portable air conditioners do.

Central air conditioning systems can even be retrofitted into existing homes. So, if you want your entire home to be cool during the summer, and don’t want to be bothered with having to install several portable air conditioners, check with an HVAC specialist.

They can assess your home to see if it is right for a retrofit central air conditioning system.

The installation of an energy efficient central air conditioning system can be cost prohibitive to many.
Fortunately, there is other energy efficient air condition systems to choose from that are more affordable, including window mounted air conditioners and portable air conditioners.

With these types of units they can typically cool a single large room or small living space area, depending upon the amount of BTUs they are rated for. The window mounted air conditioners are typically installed only for the summer months. Consequently they need to be moved into and out of place, and they are typically very heavy.

The free standing portable air conditioners, with wheels on their bases, can easily be relocated into various parts of the home as needed. They do, however, need to be vented to the outside which typically involves installing a window bracket and piping.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Though a new energy efficient air conditioner may set you back some money, the savings that can be recouped over several years is often worth the investment. Also, not only will you save more on your monthly electric bills, you’ll typically get a better performing air conditioner that will keep you cooler and feeling more comfortable.

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