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A dependable air conditioning system is vital to weathering the hot and humid conditions of Southwest Florida comfortably, but as your system ages, it may become ineffective at cooling, inefficient and expensive to operate. Here are a few signs that indicate upgrading your air conditioner may be a wise investment:

Upgrading Your Air ConditionerIt Requires Frequent and Expensive Repairs

Air conditioners require annual maintenance to run efficiently and properly, but if your air conditioner starts requiring frequent repairs to keep it running, or if a major component like the condenser or compressor must be replaced, it may be time to consider upgrading your air conditioner. As those repair bills start to add up — especially on an older system — they can quickly approach the cost of a new, much more efficient air conditioner.

It Runs Inefficiently

As an air conditioner ages, it will begin to run less efficiently, reducing your comfort and significantly increasing your energy costs. While some of that efficiency may be gained back through frequent maintenance, eventually the costs of operating the system will outweigh the benefits, especially if it’s an older model with a SEER rating of less than 13. Today’s most efficient air conditioners have SEER ratings of over 20, which can significantly reduce your cooling costs, often by over 20 percent.

It’s Over 10 Years Old

If your system is over 10 years old, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Most air conditioners have a usable lifespan of 10 to 12 years. If your air conditioner is showing signs of age like reduced efficiency, strange noises, or increased maintenance costs (and it has already had a long life), upgrading to a new, more efficient model will improve your comfort and reduce your energy costs significantly.

By upgrading your air conditioner, you can not only save money on your cooling costs, but you can also make sure that your system will operate reliably through even the highest temperatures. Talk to our team at Conditioned Air in Southwest Florida to learn about the latest in energy-efficient air conditioning systems.

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Air conditioners are a major source of energy usage in the Southwest Florida area, and as energy prices rise, energy-efficiency becomes even more important. If you have an air conditioning system that is several years old, there may be significant savings to be had by upgrading to a newer model. The latest high-efficiency air conditioning systems have many innovative features that reduce energy usage while improving your comfort and increasing reliability. Here are a few of the most important features to look for in a new high-efficiency system.

High Efficiency Air Conditioning SystemsHigh SEER Rating

Older air conditioning systems had SEER ratings as low as 13. And as they become older, they become even less efficient, even if they have been maintained relatively well. Today’s high-efficiency air conditioning systems have SEER ratings of over 20, and they can reduce your cooling costs by 20 percent or more.

Two-Speed Compressors

Older systems had single-speed compressors that would run for a while at full speed, then shut down to regulate the temperature of the home. Not only does this process inhibit dehumidification, but it’s also inefficient, noisy, and hard on the compressor. Two-speed compressors can run at full speed to reduce the temperature quickly, then switch to a slower speed to move a constant volume of air slowly. This eliminates uneven cooling and allows the compressor run at a slower, more efficient speed the majority of the time.

Variable Speed Air Handlers

Air handlers in older systems turn on and off as needed to moderate temperature, leading to noisy and inefficient operation. Variable-speed air handlers can adjust the volume of air by speeding up or slowing down as necessary. This allows them to better adapt to changing temperatures which eliminates unevenness and allows them to run slower, which reduces energy consumption.

Efficient Coil Designs

In high-efficiency air conditioning systems, the evaporator and condenser coils have been redesigned to increase surface area, reduce restrictions and increase the efficiency of the heat transfer process.

For more information about high-efficiency air conditioning systems, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving the Southwest Florida region.

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In areas of high humidity, such as Southwest Florida, controlling the amount of moisture in the air is as critical to your comfort as controlling the temperature. In many areas, air conditioning alone is enough to maintain comfortable humidity levels. But in more humid areas, or in homes with poor ventilation, additional dehumidification may be necessary.

dehumidificationHow Humidity Affects Comfort

In the summer, a hot day with low humidity feels much cooler than a similar day with high humidity. This is because the humid air prevents sweat from evaporating, interfering with your body’s natural cooling system and leaving your skin feeling sticky and uncomfortable. High humidity can also make it harder to breathe for those with allergies, asthma or other respiratory illnesses, and it can encourage the growth and reproduction of bacteria, mold, mildew, dust mites and other irritants. By maintaining healthy humidity levels of 50 percent or lower, you can make your home much more comfortable and avoid moisture-related problems.

How to Improve Dehumidification

Any home with a properly-sized, well-maintained air conditioning system and decent ventilation should be able to control humidity sufficiently in all but the most humid areas. If a home lacks proper ventilation, however, moisture from cooking, bathing, washing dishes, and fuel-burning appliances can accumulate, increasing humidity levels. Likewise, an air conditioner that’s oversized and doesn’t run long enough to properly dehumidify will leave moisture in the air; and if vents are blocked, the air filter is dirty or there are other maintenance problems, it may make the problem worse.

To improve dehumidification, make sure your home is properly ventilated, that your air conditioner is sized correctly, and that it is professionally maintained annually. If you live in an excessively humid area or still have moisture problems, then you may want to consider installing a whole-home dehumidification system to supplement your air conditioner.

To learn more about dehumidification systems and how they can improve your comfort, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air. Our team can help solve your humidity problems throughout the Southwest Florida area, including Naples and Ft. Myers.