Air conditioning is one of those modern marvels that many of us couldn’t live without. It’s also one of a home’s main energy consumers.
If you’re considering having an air conditioning unit installed or replaced, make sure you look at ALL the numbers first – not just the price. Energy efficient models are not only better for the environment, they can save you money down the road, too. According to EnergyStar, “Heating and cooling costs the average homeowner about $1,000 a year – nearly half the home’s total energy bill.” Always look at a unit’s EnergyGuide tag: higher numbers denote more energy-efficient units.
The models available today have come a long way from the air conditioner’s humble origins — which date back surprisingly far. Did you know that in 1842, a Florida doctor built a device that made ice, which was then used to cool hospital air? There are even stories of mechanical cooling devices — fans, essentially — being used in 2nd Century China.
We owe our familiar, whole-house units to a man named Willis Carrier, who invented the first modern electrical unit in 1902. He was trying to solve a printing press owner’s quality control problem: humidity was constantly changing the shape and size of the paper his presses used, making it hard to precisely line things up. Carrier’s invention was able to control humidity as well as temperature on a large scale, and has been a staple of modern life ever since.
Speaking of scale, another factor to consider is the size of the unit. Too big, and the unit will overcool your home. Too small, and it will struggle to maintain the right temperature. Both scenarios are energy wasters.
Before you buy, do yourself a favor and click on the two links below to read up on energy-efficient models and proper selection. Or contact us here at East Penn Energy Solutions — we’d be happy to help answer any questions you might have.