In 2019, new federal regulations improve the efficiency of the fans in new air conditioners, air handlers, furnaces and heat pumps. What does this mean for Redlands, CA homeowners? The price of new air conditioners and other HVAC equipment will rise. Prices will vary by brand, of course, while the efficiency of the equipment improves.
In light of these new regulations, is it better to install a new air conditioner now, or wait? Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating discusses the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.
Fan Efficiency Rating (FER) Ruling
As of July 3rd, newly manufactured furnaces and air handlers may only use electronically commutated motors (ECMs). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published this rule to generate significant energy savings in new residential HVAC equipment.
As a result of this ruling, the DOE anticipates over $9 billion in home electricity savings through 2030. The new fan standards are also expected to cut carbon pollution by as much as 34 million metric tons while saving 3.99 quads of energy.
ECMs improve blower motor efficiency, which impacts the overall energy efficiency and performance of the HVAC system. Currently, most furnaces and air handlers utilize standard induction motors, which function at efficiency levels between 60 and 65 percent.
To Repair or Replace with New Air Conditioners and Furnaces
Air conditioners typically use the matched furnace’s blower motor to distribute cooled air throughout the home. The furnace’s blower motor, therefore, is a component that works throughout both heating and cooling seasons to circulate air.
The regulations affect homeowners when it comes to price. Is it better to make repairs to current AC units or is it time to purchase new air conditioners? If your current AC unit uses an induction motor, you have the option to simply repair it.
Depending on the age and efficiency of your equipment, a repair may be more affordable than replacement. This is especially true if you already have a better than average efficiency unit and it’s relatively “young” in its service life.
On the other hand, upgrading with new air conditioners may be the best choice, considering the cost of repairs and the age of your system. The purchase of a new system with an ECM will be the more expensive option.
This is because costs are expected to rise with the new fan motor regulations. However, because an ECM is more energy efficient, the upgrade is likely to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption, which should lower your home energy bills.
Experts anticipate electricity consumption to reduce about 50 percent with an ECM. Furnace fans account for approximately 10 percent of residential electricity use in the average American home.
The energy savings generated by new air conditioners with ECM components creates a payback, effectively covering the cost of the upgrade over a period of time. The DOE estimates consumers could save between $340 and $500 over the lifetime of the new ECM fan.
Upgrade with New Air Conditioners from Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating
In conclusion: it really depends on what’s best for you. Ask for an estimate with one of our Comfort Consultants. He or she will happily assess your home, take the appropriate measurements and consider your energy efficiency goals.
When you’re ready to upgrade your home’s cooling system, Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating provides quality installation. Our new air conditioners offer the energy efficiency and performance you need to reduce costs and improve comfort in your Redlands, CA home.
Reach out today and learn more about the new air conditioners available. We stay on top of the latest news in the industry in order to best advise you on heating and air questions. Concerned about expenses? Don’t be – we offer HVAC financing options to spread out payments.