Clawson's is now part of the A&E Plumbing, Heating & Air Family. We Look Forward To Serving You! Read More

Skip navigation

Serving Greater Portland


Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

What to Know About High-Efficiency Air Conditioning Systems


Are you looking to have a new air conditioning installation this spring? If so, you have several choices to make about what type of AC to get. For example, you might decide to have a heat pump put in rather than an air conditioner, which takes the place of both the AC and the heater. If you’re staying with a central air conditioner, you can pick a model similar to the one you currently have, or you may wish to look at the newest high-efficiency models.

Just the words high efficiency are tempting—people imagine a system that will chop down on their bills. But there are some facts to know about high-efficiency air conditioners that will factor into your decision. We’ve got the important low-down on going for high efficiency.

How high efficiency systems work

What’s the difference between a mid-efficiency system and a high-efficiency one, aside from just the efficiency rating? High efficiency systems have variable speed fan motors and multi-stage compressors, and these allow them to modulate their capacity based on the home’s cooling needs. With a standard AC, the system is either on or off; it works at one capacity for both the fan and compressor. A high-efficiency system can reduce fan speed and use less power for the compressor, and it will automatically do so when possible. This can significantly lower how much power the system uses.

The efficiency rating isn’t a guarantee

The main efficiency rating for air conditioners is SEER, seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient a unit can work. Mid-efficiency systems are around 15 SEER (the minimum to meet the ENERGY STAR requirements), while high-efficiency systems can have more SEER higher than 20. However, the SEER rating isn’t a guarantee of savings because an AC will not always operate at that rating. The SEER rating is the maximum energy efficiency. At times, a 21 SEER unit will run like a 16 SEER unit. If a high-efficiency AC is poorly chosen and installed, it can end up providing no overall energy savings.

High-efficiency systems are more expensive to install

The improved precision technology of high-efficiency systems comes with a higher price. This is something you’ll consider when deciding the type of AC to install. Because high-efficiency air conditioners can potentially save money, they’ll pay back their cost after several years. But your budget and home may be better suited to a standard AC. 

A high-efficiency AC has additional benefits

Potentially lower cooling costs are not the only benefits of getting a high-efficiency air conditioner. These systems are quieter than standard ACs because they often run their fan and compressor at lower capacities. The ability to modulate cooling also allows these air conditioners to create a more even cooling spread around the house, removing hot and cold spots. 

The best way to make a choice about what type of AC you want installed is to consult with our experts. We’ll help you navigate the options and the different factors involved so you end up with the best new cooling system for your home. 

Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning is “Connecting people to Comfort”! Call us today to find out more about your options for home cooling.

Comments are closed.

Join Our Mailing List: