Thanks to today’s technology, there are affordable answers that address the four key considerations for air conditioning units:
- initial cost;
- utility savings; and
- temperature swings.
Generally, you’re going to pay more upfront to get high efficiency, lower utility bills and fewer temperature swings, however, a good base unit can reduce your initial cost while still slashing energy bills when compared to older units. Once you decide which factors are most important to you, the choices become clear.
Below are five energy-efficient options from Carrier and IMS Heating & Air that will help you stay cool without breaking the bank.
Infinity 19 VS
The top-of-the-line Carrier model, this system works somewhat like a dimmer switch, according to Reu Smith, marketing director at IMS, which serves customers throughout Colorado. With a five-stage compressor, the system runs at low speed for two hours rather than at high speed every 15 minutes, making it a utility savings bill-buster.
“It’s the Prius of air conditioners. That’s where the energy efficiency comes in,” says Smith, adding that he uses the Infinity 19 VS in his own home, and his utility bill is about a third of his neighbor’s.
Smith also says the Infinity 19 VS is among the quietest systems on the market, operating “at just louder than a whisper.”
- Most Efficiency
- Higher Initial Cost
- Biggest Utility Savings
- Perfect Comfort Level
With a two-stage compressor, this system is also quite efficient for cooling your home, spending 60 to 80 percent of the time in low speed. Smith says it provides a perfect balance among energy efficiency, upfront costs and long-term reliability. It runs as quiet as a shower, so you’ll hardly even know when it’s operating.
- High Efficiency
- Moderate Initial Cost
- Good Utility Savings
- Great Comfort Level
A unit that exceeds Department of Energy minimum standards, this system includes a long-lasting compressor that is specifically designed to remove heat from the coils. Quieter than a toilet flushing, the Performance 16’s SEER rating is double that of the unit you’re likely replacing, meaning you’re about to enjoy comfortable summer temperatures at half the monthly cost.
- Some Energy Efficiency
- Lower Initial Cost
- Some Utility Savings
Smith says this is more of a traditional, upgraded contractor system. It’s not quite as quiet or energy-efficient as the high-performance units listed above, but it is less expensive than the Infinity and Performance models, and provides plenty of air conditioning for all but extremely hot climates. This is often the best unit for apartments and smaller houses.
- Above Minimum Standards Efficiency
- Lower Initial Cost
- Little Utility Savings
Simple, efficient, affordable cooling – this system is ideal for the budget-minded family. It’s the least expensive of the five and the noisiest, but it meets all code requirements. Like the higher-performance models, it uses a refrigerant that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer and still runs quieter than living room music.
- Minimum Standards Efficiency
- Lowest Initial Cost
Smith says IMS sells more Carrier air conditioning systems than any other company in Colorado, and that the higher-end units usually pay for themselves in energy savings in about five to seven years. Carrier systems generally last for 15 to 20 years. It’s usually a good idea to replace them after a couple of decades because, by that time, newer technology will be able to provide additional energy efficiency.
Smith says IMS has the experience and expertise to service all brands of air conditioners, which is especially important in the mountainous areas of Colorado.
“We can absolutely service your current system so it runs at peak performance. The solar load is significant here because of our altitude, which makes a house seem hotter than the actual temperature in the summer,” he explains.
To learn more about how to choose the air conditioning system that fits your needs and your budget, visit IMS Heating & Air at IMSHeatingandAir.com or call (970) 532-0123 in Northern Colorado; (719) 574-0123 in Southern Colorado; or (303) 444-4900 in the Denver metropolitan area.
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