I understand why new furnaces are more efficient, but why AC?

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The same reason new refrigerators can be 75% more efficent than units 30 yrs old, they were designed with efficency, not profit, as a goal. www.energystar.gov
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On Fri, 6 Nov 2009 04:11:44 -0800 (PST), ransley

I think the new ones are profitable for the manufacturers, too.
I assume more expensive too - with energy prices up, the math just says it's worth spending a few more bucks up front to save energy for X years. Times change, optimal design decisions change.
And there is simply better tech, better insulating materials, better thermostats, better electronic motor controls, more precise machining of compressor parts, better engineering of airflow within, etc. Just making some of the heat exchanger elements 5% larger can increase efficiency, it doesn't have to be rocket science.
J.
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Ummm.... maybe to save you operating costs? A new unit could save you a substantial amount on your electric bill over a 10-15 year old one.
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"mm" wrote in message

It is mostly in the electric motors which are used for the compressor and fans.
Actually house electricity is not very "efficient" for running an electric motor. So what they do is make their "own electricity" to run the electric motors. Then design the most efficient electricity/motor pair.
For example electric motors run more efficiently on 3 phase electricity, they may convert the house electricity to a form of 3 phase electricity for the electric motors.
Or they can control the "speed" of the electric motors. Rather than on full blast or off, they can run these are various speeds. If just a little cooling is needed, slower speeds will do the job.
They basically put their thinking caps on and come up with ANYTHING which will save a bit of energy. With modern electronics and computer control, all sorts of things are now possible...
Here is one which says... "Daikin's Reluctance DC motors utilize powerful neodymium magnets that are 10 times more powerful than conventional magnets. By maximizing torque, Daikin's reluctance DC motors can boost efficiencies 20% higher than conventional motors." http://www.energysuperstore.com.au/3455/HEATING_COOLING/Multi_Split_Systems /
This one says... "Regular A/C units have a compressor that switches on whenever the room gets too warm and runs at full power until the room is cool enough, then shuts off. The inverter makes it possible to run the compressor continually at a lower power to maintain the room temperature eliminating the frequent stopping and starting required by standard systems ." http://harborpointac.com/wall-split-ductless/18000-btu/18-seer-inverter-technology-18000-btu-230v-cooling-heating-wall-split-ac/prod_14.html
On "Variable Frequency Drives"... http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/ici/eii/m92-242-2002-11e.cfm?attr
Variable Frequency Drive Technology Can Save Over 30% In Energy Costs... http://www.maintenanceresources.com/referencelibrary/acdrives/vfd.htm
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