High Efficiency Air Conditioners
We’re frequently requested to quote a homeowner on supplying and installing a high efficiency air conditioner, with the homeowner stating that they, “don’t want the AC to cost a lot of money to run”. Don’t worry, no AC efficiency level we’re legally permitted to install in the Canada (which is 13 SEER on homes built before November 1st 2016, and 14.5 SEER for homes built on or after that date) will cost a lot to run, regardless of what level of efficiency it is. We just don’t use them enough here to create any noteworthy savings through their improved operating efficiency. The increased purchase price of the high efficiency models often sees the saving of slightly lower operating costs take longer than the designed life expectancy of the system (25 years), meaning that in theory, the high efficiency AC models will take their entire life expectancy to recoup their elevated purchase price through their elevated electrical consumption efficiency, and that’s only if they don’t ever require a single repair that isn’t covered by warranty in their 25 year life expectancy. The repairs on the high efficiency AC models are almost always more costly than the more common less efficient models as well!
High efficiency furnaces in the Calgary area, you bet. We run our furnaces for 10 months of the year and use them heavily for 8 months of the year. Therefore, a higher efficiency furnace in the Calgary area will recoup its increased purchase price within the warranty period, a reasonable timeframe, making it a prudent investment in overall savings, but locally we only run our ACs for about 10% of the run-time in a year that they’re designed for. Remember, ACs are designed for the climates that buy them the most, and it’s hot humid climates that need them the most, like the southern states and the Caribbean, places where it’s not unheard of to want AC on every single day of the year, and often straight through the night. In the Calgary area, we put drastically lighter demands on our ACs, simply due to our relatively cooler and far less humid climate. Those ‘AC over furnace’ climates get little to no value from selecting high-efficiency furnaces, and our ‘’furnace over AC’ climate see us deriving little to no value from selecting high efficiency ACs. It’s be like buying a $100,000 Tesla electric car, but only using it for 50kms a week, just to get groceries and take the kids to soccer practice. Sure, in theory you’d save a ton of money on not having to ever buy gas, but you’re using it so little that a $50,000 gas car used the same way would only cost you $60,000 in car purchase and fuel over the life of the vehicle, amounting to the less expensive though less efficient car being far more cost-effective overall, given how it’s used.