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Atlantic Air Systems Blog

How Do High-Efficiency Air Conditioners Use Less Energy?


We all know that if we use less energy, we’ll pay less when our utility bills come due. It’s also best for the environment to cut down on our energy use. So when we hear about high-efficiency air conditioners, we’re already thinking, this is probably a good idea. 

But if we’re going to keep our homes cool enough to be safe and comfortable, we need a system that really works. Can air conditioners that use a lot less energy actually keep homes cool enough? How do they do it? Yes, they can, and we’ll tell you all about it.

How Air Conditioners Work

Let’s begin with the basics: how any air conditioner accomplishes the job of creating cold air. The lifeblood of the system is the refrigerant, a chemical that flows through a system of coils between the outdoor unit, which is the condenser, and the indoor unit, the evaporator. The refrigerant soaks up heat as it evaporates, becoming a gas, and then releases it as it condenses, becoming a liquid again.

The outdoor unit also contains the compressor, which keeps the refrigerant flowing, and the pressure release valve, which helps ensure that the refrigerant cools down enough before it heads back into the house. The indoor unit also contains the blower fan and the motor that powers it, so the cooled air can be pushed through your ducts and out your vents for distribution throughout your home.

Recent Advances in AC Technology

Any part of the system that can reduce energy use by getting the job done more effectively and more easily will make the air conditioner more efficient overall. In recent years, there have been three parts of AC systems that have seen major innovation, helping to get the job done just as well without requiring as much electricity.

  • The Coils: Since the refrigerant must be contained, there must be coils made of some material. The better this material can allow for thermal transfer—which is to say, the more easily it changes temperature—the better the refrigerant can absorb and release heat. Today, coils are being made of new materials that help the refrigerant cool your home more quickly and easily with less energy.
  • The Motor: In the past, the blower fan motor operated on a binary switch. It was either on or off, meaning that if it was needed at all, it was running at full power. New high-efficiency systems have variable-speed motors. They can automatically boost up to full power when it’s necessary, but most of the time, they’re able to run in a lower, power-saving mode.
  • The Compressor: Similar to the motor, the compressor used to be only capable of running and stopping. Now, multi-phase compressors only run at full power during times when your home needs the most cooling, like the hottest part of the day during a heat wave. As soon as it’s not absolutely necessary, it drops back down to using less power, saving you money, and doing the Earth a favor.

If you’re wondering whether it’s time for air conditioning replacement in Point Pleasant, NJ, the answer might be yes. With these new systems, you can save an impressive amount of energy and money. 

You’re More Comfortable With Atlantic Air Systems. Schedule your appointment with us today.

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