Although it may still keep you cool and comfortable, if your air conditioning system was installed 10 or more years ago it may be time to look at alternatives. You actually could save money over the years by upgrading because of recent advances in efficiency.

The Dept. of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) constantly are increasing the energy-efficiency and environmental protection requirements for appliances. In the last 10 years alone, average energy efficiency for air conditioners has increased by 35 percent. That means a savings of $35 off every $100 you spend on your power bill.


In addition to being more energy efficient, today’s popular ductless split system air conditioners also are quieter, more reliable and much more attractive in your living space. They also are greener as they use non-ozone depleting refrigerant.

Depending on the amount of usage, a newer, higher-efficiency system usually will pay for itself within two to three years. And, of course, you can further increase your savings with a little prudence and common sense. Only use it when weather requires and set the thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature.

Regular maintenance also ensures efficient operation. Clean or replace filters, clean the drain line, and wash clean the outdoor coil of debris. Oftentimes, the homeowner can do these things on their own and save money.

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