Power Levels and Efficiency: The Most Important Things About a New AC

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Spring is usually the time of year when homeowners trade in their old and outdated air conditioning system with new systems. Once your warranty has expired, your system needs to be carefully monitored, and if you don’t think your existing air conditioner can handle the strain of another summer, now is the time to schedule a replacement session. Doing so means that you’ll have a new air conditioner in place by the time the first hot day hits: letting you take advantage of improved efficiency and other advantages that a new air conditioner can bring.

Before that happens, however, you need to make sure your new system is the right one for your home. There are many makes and models to choose from and your technician can advise you on the best units for your circumstances. There are two specific factors that you should pay attention to, however, both of which can have a huge impact on your new air conditioner’s effectiveness. We go over the basics below:

Power Levels

Power levels refer to the amount of cooling power the air conditioner puts out into your home. That can be a surprisingly complex equation. Most people know that the air conditioner can’t be underpowered. If it is, it will run and run all day without ever getting the home cool. But it may surprise you to learn that overpowered systems can be just as problematic.

Air conditioners use far more energy turning on and turning off than they do simply running. That’s why you want your system to run for at least 15 minutes at a time in order to make the most effective use of the energy it consumes. Otherwise, it engages in a process known as short-cycling: turning on and off rapidly many times throughout the day and putting the new system under a huge amount of strain.

Your technician can perform careful calculations to determine the proper size of your new system: factoring in square footage, insulation in your walls and even sunlight exposure in order to size your new air conditioner perfectly.


Once you have determined the proper power levels, you should look at the efficiency of your new air conditioner. (Efficiency needs to be determined second, because a more efficient air conditioner won’t do any good if it’s underpowered or overpowered.) Air conditioners use a very simple measurement, called a SEER rating. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it measures how well the system makes use of the energy it consumes.

The higher the ratio, the more efficient the system. You want to select a unit with the highest SEER rating in your price range. That will keep monthly bills as low as possible and minimize wear and tear, which reduces the chances of the unit suffering a breakdown. That will pay dividends throughout the life of the unit.

If your air conditioner is on its last legs and you need a new AC unit installed in your Denver, CO home, call on Bell Plumbing and Heating today!

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