Air conditioners are probably the most important piece of equipment in
your home when the mercury in the thermometers starts to rise. However, when
these air conditioners are old, dirty or just plain not efficient, they can be very
expensive to run. Federally mandated laws have raised the energy ratings on new air
conditioners making 2005's high efficiency air conditioners less efficient than this
years base models. That translates to making all new air conditioners a lot less
expensive to operate.
Air conditioning equipment is currently available with
the new refrigerant 410-A. Please see our notice on federal
regulation changes for a more detailed explanation. Basically as time goes on,
freon R-22 will become more expensive as supplies become less available.
Similar to what happened with freon R-12 in automobiles.
Other options available in residential air conditioners, besides freon type, are the units SEER rating and whether the unit is capable of two speed operation. The minimum energy SEER ratings as of 1/23/06 are 13, and are also available in 14, 15, 16, 18 and 20 SEER in most models. Two-speed air-conditioning units allow the unit to work at less than full capacity when the temperature outside is lower. This saves you money and also increases the comfort level in your home.