Posted: April 29, 2016
Your air conditioning system is among your home’s biggest energy guzzlers. So when it comes to cutting your monthly energy bills – especially in the summer – maximizing savings in your home cooling system is a great place to start.
If you’re considering a high-efficiency A/C upgrade or a new cooling system for your home (if your A/C is more than 10 years old, it might be time to do that), you’ll need to take into account efficiency, size, and other factors when making your buying decision.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the measure of an air conditioner’s efficiency rating. Think of SEER as you would think of MPG in your car: the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is.
Today’s new home cooling systems are required by law to have a SEER rating of at least 13 (most the central air conditioning models we offer have SEER ratings between 16 and 20, but some of our ductless models go even higher). If your older A/C unit has a SEER rating of 8 (as many older units do), it will use double the energy to produce the same amount of cold air as a similarly sized unit with a SEER rating of 16.
Of course, higher SEER units cost more. Prices increase by about 8-10 percent for every 1-point increase in SEER on a similar-sized unit by the same manufacturer, so you have to consider the “payback period” for the unit. A typical 18 SEER central air conditioner will have a payback period of about 3 years over a 14 SEER model.
Also remember that SEER only measures the efficiency of the air conditioner – it doesn’t take into consideration how well your home is insulated, the condition of your ductwork, or other factors that affect cooling.
According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a properly sized air-conditioning system can reduce energy usage by up to 35 percent. If a unit is too big, it will also cost more and won’t do as good a job dehumidifying the air in your home.
Determining the right size for you A/C unit isn’t just about calculating how much air you need to cool. Climate, the style of your home, the number of windows, the amount of insulation and shade and other factors all affect the size of the unit needed.
This kind of calculation is best left to a professional who will consider all these variables. Contact us to learn more about sizing a unit for your home.
- Rebates – Many manufacturers, and even some state and federal programs, offer rebates on high-efficiency equipment, including A/C and heating systems. Contact us to learn more about current rebates.
- Manufacturers – Always choose reputable manufacturers (we use install systems from Ruud, Fuji, and other great manufacturers – contact us to learn more).
- Warrantee – Compare Warrantees offered by the manufacturer.
- Ductwork – If you have an older home that doesn’t have built-in ductwork, you’ll need a ductless system.
- Who installs the system – Proper installation is vital to the performance of your cooling system. Always choose a company with a great service track record and experienced, knowledgeable technicians.
Contact Swezey today to get a FREE estimate on a new A/C unit for your home – just in time for summer!