High Efficiency AC Systems
Everyone loves air conditioning in the summertime until we see our electric bill. The air conditioning systems that we grew up with were extremely inefficient and we paid a high price for the comfort they provided. Today’s AC Systems have changed and by installing a new high efficiency system can enjoy substantial energy savings as well as convenience and reliability.
Air Conditioner efficiency is measured by SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is a ratio of cooling produced (BTU) divided by the amount of electricity (watts) used. The higher the SEER, the greater the air conditioner’s efficiency.
Most older air conditioning systems have a SEER rating of 10 or under and can be even lower as the system ages. Today’s more efficient systems can have SEER ratings as high as 23. The United States now requires that residential air conditioning systems manufactured after 2005 have a minimum SEER rating of 13 (window units are exempt from this law, so their SEERs are still around 10). The SEER rating is usually shown on a yellow and black EnergyGuide sticker attached to the outside unit of the air conditioner.
How much energy and money can you save by upgrading from your old air conditioner to a modern, more efficient model? Let’s assume that your older AC System has a SEER rating of 9. By upgrading to a 13 SEER system (the lowest efficiency available), you would reduce your energy consumption by about 30%. That can translate to energy savings up to $315 per year (depending on your usage rate and the cost of electricity).
The Numbers Don’t Lie!
The graphic below will give you an estimate of the electricity you can save by upgrading to an air conditioning system with a higher SEER.
How High a SEER Do You Need?
Central air conditioners that are in the top 25 percent of efficient models may carry the Energy Star® label. To qualify, they must have a minimum SEER efficiency level of 14.
So, does all this mean that you should get the air conditioner with the highest SEER possible? Not necessarily. SEER ratings only represent the potential efficiency of the system under perfect conditions. Over half of the system’s efficiency depends on correct equipment sizing for your home and proper installation. So while looking for an air conditioning system with the EnergyStar® label is certainly the right start, what you really want and need is the right sized equipment operating at its optimal ratings within varying conditions, for your optimal comfort and savings.
Velocity Air offers both residential and commercial services in Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg and surrounding areas. Give us a call (727) 265-2300 in Pinellas, (813) 370-0299 in Hillsborough or you can schedule online for all of your heating and cooling needs.