Nobody wants to suffer through summer in NYC with unreliable air conditioning. Here’s what you need to know about the latest and greatest air conditioner improvements that can make your living space more comfortable.
BONUS: many of these air conditioner improvements increase efficiency and save you money!
Air conditioner improvements that enhance performance and comfort
1. Greater energy efficiency
Did you know that as much as 50% of the energy consumed in your home is used by your HVAC system? Today’s new HVAC systems are easily twice as efficient as your old system.
Simply upgrading to a system with a higher SEER rating will noticeably reduce your electric bill. Today’s most efficient systems have SEER ratings between 14 and 23. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every dollar invested in HVAC energy efficiency can produce a double or triple return on investment.
Related article: Understanding Air Conditioning HVAC Energy Efficiency Ratings.
What’s more, investing in air conditioner improvements with newer technology, such as variable flow refrigerant (VRF) systems, can result in even greater energy savings as well as improved comfort. A VRF system is designed to run less frequently and at a lower capacity, which saves energy. VRF systems can also capture heat from the cooling process and reuse it in other areas that may need heating.
2. More consistent temperatures
Temperature variance throughout your space can be the result of poor air conditioning design.
- If your system is incorrectly sized– either too small or too large– it won’t be able to keep your space consistently comfortable.
- Another problem could be your system’s duct work layout. Ducts that are too small, runs that are too long, and bends that are too tight can impede airflow and effective cooling.
- Even if you have a ductless system, the design of ventilation and placement of air handlers could be causing inconsistent temperatures.
- Your home may need additional heating and cooling zones to accommodate different occupants and activities. For example, if you entertain frequently in the evening, your living and dining rooms may need more cooling while bedrooms where children are sleeping need less.
3. Better controls
Today’s new programmable thermostats give you precise control over the comfort levels in your home. Sophisticated models allow different settings for each day of the week to accommodate varying schedules, and provide precision displays and security features that prevent unauthorized occupants from changing the settings.
You can also take advantage of new models that can be controlled by phone or with Wifi apps. Also known as Smart Thermostats, you can control these models via your smart phone, tablet or laptop computer to avoid wasting energy heating and cooling an empty home. You can also turn on the AC when you’re headed home so you don’t have to walk into a sauna. Some can even automatically adjust the set temperature when you’re away.
4. Reduced noise
Tired of your loud air conditioner keeping you up at night? Getting the right size unit for your space, choosing the right brand for quietest operation, and choosing the right locations for your system’s air handlers can make all the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep and having to resort to earplugs.
5. Controlled humidity
With poorly controlled humidity, you can be plagued by damp and sticky conditions in the summer, and too much dry air in the winter. Both can be damaging as well as uncomfortable. Summer dampness not only makes you feel hotter, but can lead to dangerous mold growth. Too little humidity in the winter causes all those annoying electric shocks and can damage your fine woodwork and furniture. Also, viruses (including the coronavirus that causes Covid-19) tend to thrive in low-humidity conditions.
Air conditioner improvements can prevent both problems. The right size air conditioner does a better job of reducing summer humidity, and central humidification add-ons control dryness in the winter.
Related article: 3 Must-Have HVAC Features That Enhance Indoor Air Quality & Comfort.
6. Air purification
It’s no secret that the air quality in New York City is not the greatest. But did you know that the air inside your home can be dirtier than the air outside? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency studies have shown that your indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside—even in smoggy, urban areas like NYC.
When it comes to removing dangerous microorganisms from the air you breathe, standard HVAC filters don’t really do the job. Those filters are designed to protect the equipment from damage, not to protect your lungs, eyes and skin from airborne pollutants.
Air conditioner improvements like air purification systems can help. These systems remove dust, mold, smog, bacteria and viruses from the air circulated throughout your home’s HVAC system. They remove pollutants and microorganisms with a combination of heavy-duty HEPA filters that trap the larger particles like dust, and electrostatic fields that capture the tiniest particles like viruses.
In fact, air purification devices have become essential for businesses and homeowners to help prevent the spread of Covid. To learn more about HVAC strategies and technology for Covid mitigation, get our helpful guide.
If you’re considering a new air conditioning system for your luxury New York City residence, the options can seem overwhelming. How do you choose the right one for your needs and your space? Here’s a resource to help you understand the various types of air conditioning systems available to you, and the advantages and limitations of each: The Ultimate Guide to Air Conditioning for NYC Luxury Residential Spaces.