Are New AC Units More Efficient?


When it comes to AC units, efficiency is of the utmost importance — especially for your budget. 

With the rising temperatures seen around the globe alongside ongoing cost-of-living concerns, the need to cut down on energy bills has never been a more pertinent issue. As a result, many homeowners have been left to wonder whether their current AC unit is still up to the task.

In this article, we delve into the topic of AC unit efficiency to help you decide whether a new AC unit would be a worthwhile investment for your home. Looking at the key factors that impact overall AC efficiency, this guide strives to shed light on the benefits of upgrading to a newer HVAC system. Plus, we examine how much you stand to save by making the switch.

Keep reading to learn all about AC unit efficiency to decide whether or not your home needs an upgrade.  

What Does A SEER Rating Tell You About Your AC?

A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is an efficiency measurement used for air conditioning (AC) and heat pump systems. This rating reflects how efficiently the respective system cools a space during the standard cooling season, with higher ratings equating to higher efficiency. 

Along with indicating greater efficiency, higher SEER ratings can also indicate lower overall energy consumption. For anyone trying to lower their monthly utility bills, this is an especially crucial benefit of maintaining a high SEER rating — or upgrading your system if your rating is low. 

The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output (measured in British thermal units or BTUs) of the system during a cooling season by the electrical energy input (measured in watt-hours) over the same period. The result is a numerical value that represents the efficiency of the system. 

Older AC units may have SEER ratings in the single digits, while modern units can range from 13 to over 25 SEER. In general, a good SEER rating is regarded as a 14 or higher on the rating scale. 

SEER ratings provide a standardized way for consumers to compare the energy efficiency of different air conditioning and heat pump systems. Over recent years, there have been improvements in HVAC technology that have led to the development of systems with higher SEER ratings, further stressing the importance of upgrading an outdated system. 

It’s important to note that while a higher SEER rating generally corresponds to greater energy efficiency, other factors — such as proper installation, maintenance, and the specific conditions of your home — can also influence the overall efficiency and performance of your AC. 

When considering whether or not to invest in a new AC system, your current SEER rating helps with making an informed decision about the potential efficiency and energy savings of a new system. 

How Much More Efficient Are New Air Conditioners?

Advancements in HVAC technology have revolutionized the efficiency of air conditioning systems. 

Newer models are equipped with features such as variable-speed compressors, advanced humidity controls, and programmable thermostats. These features allow the system to adjust its cooling output based on real-time conditions, optimizing energy usage and maintaining a consistent indoor climate.

Variable-speed compressors, for instance, can run at lower speeds on milder days, using less energy while still maintaining comfortable temperatures. This contrasts with older units that often operate at full capacity, regardless of the cooling demand within a specific home. 

Additionally, modern insulation and sealing techniques contribute to better overall energy efficiency.

What are the Benefits of a New HVAC System?

Energy efficiency isn’t the only advantage of upgrading to a new HVAC system. 

Along with having higher SEER ratings, new HVAC systems often provide homeowners with many additional benefits that make the investment in a new system well worth the upfront cost.

Here are four additional benefits of installing a new HVAC system in your home: 

  • Enhanced Comfort: New HVAC systems are equipped with features that allow the system to adjust its output based on real-time conditions, maintaining a consistent temperature and eliminating sudden temperature fluctuations. This results in more even heating and cooling throughout your living space, providing a comfortable indoor environment year-round.
  • Improved Air Quality: Many new HVAC systems incorporate advanced air filtration and purification systems that can effectively remove dust, allergens, pollutants, and even microorganisms from the air. These systems help create a healthier indoor environment by reducing airborne particles that can trigger allergies or respiratory issues. 
  • Reduced Noise Levels: New HVAC systems are designed with noise reduction in mind. They incorporate technologies like variable-speed fans and insulated compressor compartments to operate quietly. This quieter operation not only contributes to a more peaceful and comfortable living environment but also reduces noise pollution inside and outside your home.
  • Smart Thermostat Integration and Remote Control: Many new HVAC systems are compatible with smart thermostats and home automation systems. These devices allow you to control your HVAC system remotely through your smartphone or computer. You can easily adjust the temperature, efficiency, and other settings while away from home with these features.

How Much Will a New AC Unit Save Me?

While a new AC unit will almost certainly result in savings, the total amount you can expect is highly dependent on varying factors like your local climate and the size of your home.

On average, homeowners can expect to save around $400 per year on a new HVAC system, especially when installing newer models with high SEER ratings. This generally translates to a 20% to 40% increase in savings on monthly energy bills. 

However, if you are living with a very old and outdated HVAC system currently, those savings could amount to even higher amounts, reaching into the thousands of dollars range for potential savings.

Ultimately, your best bet is to speak with a professional HVAC team to discuss the cost of a new installation and the savings you can achieve. 

Final Thoughts

In the quest for energy efficiency and cost savings, upgrading to a new AC unit is undoubtedly key. Not only do modern HVAC systems offer better SEER ratings and reduced energy consumption, but they also offer many great additional benefits, from improved air quality to quieter operation.

What matters most is approaching the decision with careful consideration. 

Before diving into a new AC unit installation process, your first essential steps are to assess your current system’s efficiency, your specific cooling needs, and your budget. Consulting with HVAC professionals can provide valuable insights tailored to your circumstances, ensuring that your investment in a new AC unit aligns with your goals for comfort, savings, and environmental responsibility.

For the question of whether or not new AC units are more efficient — the answer is a resounding yes. 

Advancements in AC technology have propelled these systems to new heights of efficiency, making them not only cooling solutions but also energy-saving and eco-friendly choices for homeowners. By understanding the SEER rating of your system and getting in touch with your local HVAC professionals, you can make an informed decision that optimizes your comfort, budget, and overall well-being. 

To make the most out of your new AC system, make sure to practice regular maintenance and always reach out to your local HVAC team for expert support!

Looking for an HVAc Professional in Brentwood, TN?

We are the right choice for all your HVAC needs! Here at Rapid Response, we understand that no two customers are the same and that is why our team of trained professionals will go above and beyond to meet the customized cooling needs of every customer. By choosing us you will receive fair rates, quality work and outstanding service.