How Efficient is New HVAC Equipment

How Efficient is New HVAC Equipment?

Everyone knows that replacing your old HVAC equipment has a high upfront cost. However, there are some important factors that often get overlooked during this decision, like the fact that your old equipment is actually costing you more than what you’d get in return by replacing it. The cost of an older furnace or A/C unit is spread out over months and years, and increases with every year your equipment ages. HVAC equipment over 10 years old is less efficient in heating or cooling your home and become more expensive to repair when breakdowns happen. Let’s take a look at just how much your old equipment is costing you.


Why is my old equipment costing me more? 

Let’s start with A/C units. The efficiency of an A/C unit is measured in SEERs, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Any Air conditioning unit manufactured after 2005 must comply with the federal minimum rating of 13. Which may sound like a lot, but when compared to the SEER rating of new equipment, between 17 and 20, that’s a lot of energy wasted. Not to mention that the SEER rating when purchased brand new is not the same SEER rating your unit has today. Depending on how old your equipment is, its SEER rating could have dropped several points. Let’s say your old A/C unit has a current SEER rating of 9 and you choose to replace the unit with an A/C system with a SEER rating of 18. This would amount to a 50% drop in the energy used to run your A/C in the summer. That’s a big difference!

When it comes to furnaces, efficiency is not rated in SEERS, it’s rated in terms of AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). When you buy a new furnace, it’s efficiency could range from 90-95% depending on the fuel type and model. Not to mention that when you bought your furnace 10, 20, or maybe 30 years ago, it’s starting efficiency (brand new) was much lower. Overtime, the efficiency of your furnace decreases, leaving you with a system that uses more energy than the heat it outputs. Let’s say your furnace is running at 80% efficiency. That means that out of the 100% of the fuel put in, only 80% is used to heat your home. Some older furnaces may even have an efficiency rating of less than 70%, that’s a lot of wasted fuel and money.


How efficient is new HVAC equipment? 

Older equipment(depending on age) can be up to 30% less efficient than newer models. Not to mention that newer high-efficiency equipment can save you money on energy costs and help reduce your carbon footprint. It’s  win-win!

New A/C units can have a SEER rating between 17 and 20. While older equipment could have a SEER rating between 9 and 13.

New furnaces can have an efficiency rating between 90-95% depending on the fuel type and model. While older furnaces could be between 70-85%, with some being less than 70% depending on age.

Is it worth upgrading? 

Putting aside the math, it’s worth upgrading our HVAC equipment if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • If your furnace/air conditioner/heat pump is more than 10 years old. The efficiency of HVAC equipment decreases over time, and new equipment is getting more and more efficient.
  • If your HVAC equipment requires frequent repairs. Eventually buying a new unit is better for your wallet than constantly repairing an old one.
  • If your energy bill is consistently going up. This is a sign that the efficiency of your current unit is decreasing or there is a part on your unit that is faulty, which means it’s time for a new unit.
  • If your equipment heats or cools your home unevenly, which is another sign of decreasing efficiency.
  • If your system is noisy. Newer HAVC equipment runs with little to no noise. If your equipment is loud, that could be a sign of inefficiency.
  • If your HVAC unit is not the right size for your home. Bigger is not better when it comes to your HAVC equipment. If your equipment is too big for your home, it’s going to turn on and off frequently as it heats or cools your home. This increases energy consumption and your energy bill.

Time to get started! 

Your comfort can’t wait any longer. When you schedule with us you will benefit from:  

  • Quick heating and cooling service in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
  • More than 90 years of experience delivering excellent customer service for business and residential customers in our region.
  • A family-owned, local business — our focus is on delivering the best for our customers rather than meeting a corporate quota.
  • Expert advice and technical insights required to make smart choices that keep your home or business comfortable for less.


This could be you! Before and after of a furnace installation.

Schedule an HVAC installation today with Shipley Energy.
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