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How Much More Efficient Are New Air Conditioners?

How Much More Efficient Are New Air Conditioners?

Since the invention of the air conditioner in the 20th century, it has gone through several improvements in efficiency and performance. New models of air conditioners come with advanced features such as variable-stage fans, smart connectivity, air quality improvements, and more. With each new model, the manufacturers of air conditioners are also looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their air conditioners. For customers, the energy efficiency of the air conditioner remains an important factor in deciding which air conditioner to buy. Here are some of the reasons why modern air conditioners are more energy-efficient than older models.

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The efficiency of the air conditioner is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (ERR), which the ratio of the air conditioner capacity in Btu per hour to the input power in Watts. The higher the ratio of the ERR, the more energy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER is another metric used for air conditioner energy efficiency. With the SEER, the time of the year is also included in the equation of calculating the ratio of AC capacity to input power.

Some of the improvements in the energy efficiency of air conditioners have been driven by government regulations and policies, some of which have been designed for regulating minimum efficiency standards in appliances. The minimum US federal efficiency standards enacted by The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) has gradually increased since it was first introduced in 1990. It started with a SEER of around 10 for air conditioners. This number has increased to 13 SEER after 2015.


Some of the new models of air conditioners come with variable-stage fans. The traditional air conditioner only had one speed for the fan. As the name suggests, a variable-stage fan can adjust the speed of the fan according to the setting of the air conditioner. So when the air conditioner does not need to run at full capacity, the variable-speed fan can slow down, hence consuming less energy. For most types of air conditioners, the fan does not need to run at full capacity, so this feature of variable-stage fans can have a significant positive impact on the most energy efficient air conditioner.


The refrigerant plays a vital role in the refrigeration cycle as it passes through several components of the air conditioner. An air conditioner refrigerant is designed to absorb and release heat efficiently. The type of refrigerant depends on the type of air conditioner. Over the years, the efficiency of the refrigerant has improved. The R22 refrigerant, which was very a common version for air conditioners, has been replaced by the R-410A, which not only is more energy-efficient but also safer for the ozone layer. If your air conditioner is using R22, you might want to upgrade to a new air conditioner that used R-410A. In the US, the R22 is expected to be phased out, and therefore will soon not be available for AC recharge service.


With the use of multi-stage compressors, newer models of air conditioners can deliver improved energy efficiency. Similar to a variable-speed fan, the multi-stage compressor can adjust the power according to the settings of the air conditioner. The compressor is one of the most energy-consuming components of the air conditioner, so any efficiency in the compressor leads to a significant improvement in the overall efficiency of the air conditioner.


Regular maintenance can play a key role in maximizing the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. To schedule an AC service, including inspection, repair, the installation, you can contact us at Campbell Comfort Systems. We are located in West Deptford, NJ, and serve all neighboring locations. Apart from AC services, we also offer services for heating, Arzel zoning system, indoor air quality, maintenance, and more. We also guide you on buying the right air conditioner, furnace, or other HVAC appliance for your house or office.

At Campbell Comfort Systems, our technicians are equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment for all types of heating, cooling, and air conditioning (HVAC) services. They are certified and have experience in serving types of appliances from all brands. Along with the best in heating and cooling services, we are also committed to providing the best in customer service. To schedule a service with us, please contact us through our website or give us a call.