It’s been a nice summer here in Portland Oregon and unlike some years, we’ve had our share of warm weather already so now is a great time to talk about energy efficient air conditioning.
Summer’s not over with and we could see hot weather into September so it’s definitely not too late to install some type of air conditioning to make your home more comfortable.
Should you upgrade old A/C equipment?
If you have an older A/C unit in your Portland home now, you can save a considerable amount of money every month by upgrading as new equipment is much more efficient that anything made 10 years (or more) ago. Many people think if it still works, they should keep it but that’s not always good advice. Older units not only waste money but they waste energy (this is also true of furnaces).
Older a/c units may operate at only 10 SEER while new equipment runs at 18 SEER or higher. Lennox has an Energy Savings calculator that tells you how much money you can save over 5, 10 or 15 years so let’s compare a 10 SEER unit with an 18 SEER unit. Based on the U.S. national average, the calculator estimates a 44% savings per year, which is a $720 savings over 5 years and $1,440 savings over 10 years.
Here’s a link so you can run your own comparisons and see for yourself. You can also do a heat comparison to see how much a new furnace will save you-it’s an eye-opener!
3 air conditioning options
Whether you are upgrading older equipment or installing new, there are 3 main choices for air conditioning and all 3 are energy efficient
1.Ductless heat pumps
3. Air conditioning unit
Each one of these options offers different advantages so it really depends on your particular situation as to which one is right for you. The size of your home, your comfort level, your current heating and cooling system, etc. all play a part in deciding which option is best for you.
We encourage you to call your favorite heating and cooling company (like Midway Heating) for a professional recommendation. Pricing is usually a factor so we can help you decide which gives you the best bang for your buck.
Ductless or mini-splits
Ductless heat pumps (sometimes called mini-splits) are very popular as they are not only extremely energy efficient but they offer the choice of installing a single unit to cool 1 room or multiple units for several rooms.
They are called ductless because they don’t need to be hooked up to any ductwork so they can be installed quicker. These are perfect if you are looking for a solution tp only 1 or just a few rooms and if the rooms you want to cool have no ductwork.
With a mini-split there is an outside unit which is connected to the inside unit by a refrigerant line so only a small hole (around 3”) needs to be made in the wall to connect the 2 components.
Plus, each inside unit has its own control so each can be set at a different temperature or shut off when not needed (which saves money on cooling). If you want more information, read our past blog post on ductless heat pumps.
Whole home solutions
If you’re looking for a cooling solution for your entire house, you probably want to consider a heat pump or an air conditioning unit as it would be a more economical choice than installing a ductless heat pump with a unit in each room of your home. Also some people do not like the look of the ductless inside unit, which is mounted either on the wall or the ceiling.
The benefit to a heat pump is that it has a cooling AND heating function so it helps save money year round. While it cools your home in the summer, it helps heat your home in colder weather so your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard.
Since heat pumps are highly energy efficient, you’ll notice a reduction in your utility bill in the winter too. Read our past blog post on heat pumps if you want more information on how they work.
For our moderate weather, a heat pump can usually keep your home cool enough though some people prefer an air conditioning unit as they are more powerful and will keep your home even cooler. It all depends upon your comfort level so our best advice is to call a heating and cooling company to come out and discuss your situation.
Free estimates on equipment installations
As you can see, there are many factors to weigh when deciding to install energy efficient air conditioning so get a professional’s option. Here at Midway Heating, we offer free estimates on new equipment installation and will take the time to explain which equipment will not only be the most economical choice but offer the best comfort too.