Now that the latest technology in air conditioners has hit the market, homeowners have the opportunity to increase efficiency and save even more on energy costs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continues to increase efficiency standards in the hope of minimizing the impact of air conditioning on the power supply. As a result, the DOE has established a rating known as SEER, which stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” Here’s what you should know about this rating as you look into new AC units.
Efficiency Standards Have Jumped to New Heights
As recently as 10 years ago, air conditioners were well below modern standards. The Energy.gov website estimates that homeowners could save as much as 40 percent on the costs of cooling a home by upgrading a system installed in the past decade. As the country moves toward a more efficient future, homeowners have the opportunity to put this technology to use.
The upgrade in machinery can be seen in the ratings that match cooling potential to the energy consumed in the process. This SEER rating must be a minimum of 13 for any air conditioning units manufactured after January 2006. According to Energy.gov, homeowners shopping in Woodstock and neighboring communities may still find cooling systems for sale with a SEER rating of 10 or below. These units would have been manufactured prior to 2006 and their efficiency is lacking compared to the latest models.
Efficiency Requires More Than a Rating
While a cooling system equipped with the latest technology is essential, the actual efficiency of your home HVAC system depends on more than a purchase. For example, the size of the unit itself may not be adequate for your home. Be sure to consider this factor before buying. Qualified cooling specialists can assist you on the proper size of an AC system.
Other issues arise from poor installation. Contractors should have a plan for duct work, insulation, and air flow well before they start putting your new air conditioning system into operation. Only professionals skilled in HVAC work should handle processes such as fixing duct work in your home. Never trust contractors who aren’t known for their reputation for stellar HVAC installation.
Why Today’s Efficiency Ratings Count
Though homeowners in Woodstock are not responsible for replacing inefficient cooling systems, it makes sense to look into a top-rated system when you upgrade. Energy Star appliances represent a higher tier of efficiency on the market. As was the case with earlier standards, the current SEER minimum of 13 is not the most efficient product available. Units with higher ratings exist, and even better models will continue to appear.
Therefore, homeowners should make a calculation when shopping for a new air conditioning unit. Each notch in the efficiency rating is equivalent to a 10 percent improvement over the previous figure. For example, today’s standard SEER rating of 13 is 70 percent more efficient than old units with a rating of 6. When calculating how much your energy costs are every month, the savings add up.
Of course, the latest technology comes at a higher premium than less efficient models. Homeowners hoping to recoup the expense will do so over years of efficient AC operation. If you choose to make this smart energy upgrade, call Reliable Heating & Air to make sure it’s done right.
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