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High Efficiency Air Conditioners

Today's homeowners spend, on average, about $1,000 every year on heating and cooling costs. Your energy bills may be higher or lower depending on the efficiencies of your existing systems. Older air conditioners and poorly-maintained air conditioners are almost always inefficient; as a result, they cost more to operate. Even a fairly new cooling system can be considerably less efficient than an Energy Star air conditioner manufactured today. If you're considering an A/C system replacement, an efficient air conditioner can reduce your annual cooling costs by as much as 30 percent.

How Do Mitsubishi High Efficiency Air Conditioners Work?

Mitsubishi air conditioners have a ductless technology. They don't depend on a system of ducts and vents to circulate cooled air. Ductless air conditioners are cooling systems only, whereas heat pumps are ductless systems that deliver both heated and cooled air. Ductless air conditioners are also known as split systems or mini splits. Mini split air conditioners are all very efficient, although some systems are more efficient than others.

Generally speaking, a split system air conditioner will always be more efficient than a central air conditioner. That's because up to 30 percent of the air circulating through a typical central AC system is lost in the duct work before it even reaches the air vents. This is mostly due to cracks, holes and leaks in the ducts, but it can also be caused by poorly constructed ducts, clogged ducts and ducts that are located in unconditioned spaces like attics. Duct work that's not maintained is at high risk for inefficient performance, and duct maintenance can be quite expensive. With ductless cooling technology, the need for duct work and duct maintenance is eliminated, no cool air is lost in the circulation process, cool air delivery is more efficient and you pay less in electric bills.

With a zoned ductless system, air conditioning efficiency gets even better. Mitsubishi Electric zoned systems employ multiple indoor cooling units that are each installed in a different location and come with their own individual thermostats. You can set each indoor unit to a different temperature, thereby creating separate cooling zones. With a zoned system, you can cool only the rooms you use. This gives you total control over the cool air you use, and it can reduce utility bills significantly.

High Efficiency Air Conditioner Tax Credit

The federal government has reinstated 25C tax credits to encourage homeowners to invest in energy-efficient home improvements. If you purchase a mini split system before the end of 2013, you can deduct up to $300 in installation costs from your federal taxes. The energy-efficient home improvements must be made in your primary residence, and the tax credits are also available for furnace, boiler, hot water heater and heat pump installations.

The split system you purchase must meet certain efficiency requirements in order to qualify for the tax credit. It must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of at least 16 and an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of at least 12.5. But remember that the higher the SEER rating of the system you choose, the more efficient it will be, and the less you'll spend on electric bills. Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating offers four cooling-only split systems that come with the Energy Star label. All of these M-Series Energy Star air conditioners qualify for the energy tax credit:

Model MUY-GE09N

SEER: 21

EER: 13.6

Model MUY-GE12NA

SEER: 20.5

EER: 12.5

Model MUY-GE15NA

SEER: 21

EER: 13

Model MUY-GE24NA

SEER: 19

EER: 12.5

Do Mini Splits Cost More Than Other Air Conditioners?

Depending on the system model you choose, the number of indoor air handlers you want, and the cooling capacity you desire, mini splits can cost up to 30 percent more than central air conditioners when the duct work is already in place. However, because ductless air conditioners are so efficient, many homeowners find that the savings on utility bills over time is sufficient to outweigh the higher cost. There are also rebates available in some states for homeowners who purchase Energy Star and energy-efficient heating and cooling products. Incentives may be offered by power companies for energy-efficient cooling system conversions in addition to local discounts, depending on where you live.