Three Air Conditioning Systems That Cut Back Energy Costs

If there’s anywhere to consider air conditioners and heat pumps that use less electricity, Phoenix tops the list. Summers are long and hot and cooling costs can easily break the budget. These three types of systems offer significant energy savings, along with greater comfort and dependability.


The blower motors inside the air handler and outdoor condenser use a fair amount of electricity, but a system equipped with electronically commutated motors (ECMs) uses considerably less. ECMs are motor upgrades that use up to 70 percent less electricity than the standard permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor. ECMs use high-tech circuitry to vary their running speeds based on the amount of cooling your home needs. They also start more slowly than a PSC motor, which means that they’re quieter indoors and out.

An air handler equipped with an ECM doesn’t produce a noticeable rush of air from the ducts as the system begins the cooling cycle. If you use a heat pump for winter heating, you won’t feel that blast of cold air coming from the ducts, since the system ramps up slowly. They also end their cycles gradually so that all the cooled air inside the ductwork is distributed throughout your home. When A/C systems shut off quickly, a fair amount of conditioned air stays behind in the ducts, where it’s wasted.

Dual-Stage Compressors

When air conditioners and heat pumps first start their cycles, they use the most energy and the wear and tear on their parts is highest, prompting more AC repair Phoenix than any other cause. A system that has a dual-stage compressor adjusts the amount of refrigerant it compresses based on the need for cooling and the outdoor temperature.
Consequently, these systems run at a lower speed at night and on mild spring and fall days. They run for longer periods and avoid some of the short-cycling that a system with a single-stage compressor does.

The compressor uses the most energy of any single part in a cooling system, and when it runs at a lower speed for a longer period, it won’t start and stop as often. Air conditioners and heat pumps use enormous amounts of energy when they first start, and with an extended, but slower, cycle, they use less. Besides saving energy, dual-speed compressors increase comfort with a longer, slower cycle. The air handler distributes the cooled air more thoroughly throughout your home and during the monsoon, it removes more humidity.

Scroll Compressors

A system that uses a scroll compressor will save energy. This type of compressor has fewer moving parts and is capable of greater compression, which provides more efficient operation. They run more quietly and last longer. If you use a heat pump, you’ll notice warmer air coming from the ducts on cold days, since they compress the refrigerant more efficiently. During the summer, a scroll compressor doesn’t have to work as hard and uses less electricity than a piston compressor.

Choosing your next air conditioner or heat pump needs to be done carefully in Phoenix, since cooling bills account for the lion’s share of your energy budget for six months of the year. Even though it does cost more to install a new cooling system that uses less energy, it starts to pay for itself immediately in lower electrical bills for many years to come.