Outdated or Modern: Where Does Your HVAC System Fit?
As in every other area of your household, HVAC system technology has taken big strides in the last decade or so. Efficiency, reliability and performance of new cooling and heating systems have improved as research and development at major manufacturers has moved into the 21st century. Here are some ways to tell if your HVAC system is up-to-date or out-of-date:
How Old is It?
If your A/C or furnace is more than a decade old, it’s probably designed to deliver performance that belongs to a bygone era. Furnaces, which typically last up to 20 years, are often left behind in the advance of technology. If your air conditioner is 12 years old, it’s probably costing you more in the long run to operate, and not cooling as effectively, as upgrading to a new unit that meets today’s more stringent specs.
Is It Still Efficient?
A residential air conditioner still on the job today may well have come with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) as low as 10 when it was new. The higher the SEER rating, the less you’ll probably pay in operating costs. The current federal minimum SEER is 13 and soon to increase further. Hanging on too long to outmoded technology with today’s higher energy costs may be false economy.
Is the Technology Current?
New HVAC technology has been integrated into today’s systems. Is your A/C still only a single-stage model? Units with newer two-stage compressors lower operating costs and cool the house more consistently. In the air handler, a variable-speed blower is programmed to adjust output to the temperature needs of the house, unlike old-school models that run at a single speed and continuously turn on and off. Smart new gas furnaces with two-stage burners also save energy, quickly warming a cold house then downshifting into efficient single-burner output.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.