Why “SEER” is important
Central air conditioners are more efficient than room air conditioners. In addition, they are out of the way, quiet, and convenient to operate. To save energy and money, you should try to buy an energy-efficient air conditioner and reduce your central air conditioner’s energy use. In an average air-conditioned home, air conditioning consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
If you have an older central air conditioner, you might choose to replace the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. If you choose to do so, have Comfort Masters Heating and Air Conditioning to ensure that the new compressor is properly matched to the indoor unit. Keep in mind that due too recent changes in refrigerants and air conditioning designs, it might be wiser to replace the entire system. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners previous to mid-1970s.
The efficiency of units that are even 10 years old can save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs. Proper sizing and installation are key elements in determining air conditioner efficiency. Too large a unit does not adequately remove humidity. On the other hand, too small a unit will not be able to attain a comfortable temperature on the hottest days. Please see our education on ductwork as improper unit location, lack of insulation, and improper duct installation can greatly diminish efficiency. When buying an air conditioner, look for a model with a high efficiency.
Central air conditioners are rated according to their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output so a higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency. A lot of older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. If your air conditioner is old, then you might consider buying an energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels — qualified central units are about 15% more efficient than standard models.
New residential central air conditioner standards went into effect on January 1, 2015. If you research efficiency standards for central air conditioners for details, then this may help you understand why considering purchasing a system with a higher SEER than the minimum for greater savings. The standards do not require you to change your existing central air conditioning units, and replacement parts and services should still be available for your home’s systems. ON average, the “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. Manufacturers typically continue to support existing equipment by making replacement parts available and honoring maintenance contracts after the new standard goes into effect.
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