About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: March 11, 2013 by Sandra G., Boca Raton, FL
How do I know when it is time to replace a functioning heat pump air-conditioning unit with a new, more energy-efficient system?
Great topic Sandra! The question of early replacement of an A/C or heat pump that is working fine is mostly an economic decision.
Ask yourself if you’re ready to make the large investment in a new air conditioning unit, and you can start saving on operating cost right away. Generally, FPL suggests considering early replacement if your existing A/C is 10 years old or more. Your possible annual savings is affected by the efficiency rating, or SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), of your existing unit and the extent of your upgrade. For example, using an average 3 ton A/C unit, if you upgrade from a SEER 10 to SEER 16, your annual savings will be about $400 a year.
Meanwhile, you’ll save about $150 per year by upgrading an already more efficient SEER 13 unit to a 16 SEER. In addition, when installing a 16 SEER 3 ton unit, FPL will contribute $585 as a rebate to your total cost of the unit if you purchase your A/C system through a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC). FPL rebates vary based on size of the A/C unit and the SEER efficiency selected. See our annual cooling cost calculator illustrating this example below.
Try our "cool" calculator. Once you use our calculator and have an idea of how much savings you can expect, you can make a more informed economic decision. Also, you may be eligible for a rebate if you install a new A/C. Learn about FPL’s A/C rebates and use our A/C cost calculator here: www.FPL.com/acsavings.
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FPL reserves the right to edit any user submissions to "Ask the Energy Expert" for brevity or clarity. Publication of readers' questions or comments is at the sole discretion of FPL.