If the air conditioning system in your home is over 8-years old, it’s probably time to think about a replacement. Even if you’ve properly maintained it and it appears to be performing, it’s likely costing you.
As you search for the ‘right’ air conditioning unit, you’ll see and hear the term SEER. What does this mean? And, how does it impact you, your home, and your family?
SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a mathematical computation to gauge how energy efficient a specific air conditioner unit is. The current minimum SEER ratio by Federal standards is 13; the highest I’ve seen is 25. A higher rating is always more energy efficient.
I’m not going to bore you with the mathematics of SEER ratios. In short, it has to do with tons, BTUs, days in use, and kilo-watts consumed. There’s no high-level math formulas here because it’s really just about value – what it costs to buy an energy-efficient air conditioner and the monthly energy costs to keep your home and family comfortable.
There is a simple balance between the cost of a unit with a high SEER ratio and the operating cost you can expect from that unit.
When you ask your local HVAC dealer for a quote for a new air conditioner, you’ll likely receive 2 or 3 alternatives – each air conditioning unit will likely have a different SEER rating.
Yes, the installed cost of an air conditioner unit with a higher SEER ratio will likely cost more than one with the lower SEER ratio. But, overall, the one with the higher SEER ratio will cost less in monthly energy costs.
For example, the monthly energy budget for an A/C unit with a SEER rating of 23 can easily be about half of one with a SEER rating of 13; the monthly energy budget of a 23 SEER rated unit can be 25% lower than one with a 16 SEER ratio.
In addition to monthly savings, the 23 SEER rated unit is more environmentally-friendly.
Today’s central air conditioning units are incredibly sophisticated machines – far superior to their predecessors. They’re fine-tuned, highly-sensitive operating systems designed with controls and sensors to maximize efficiency.
The ‘best’ solution for your home will depend on a number of variables including how long you plan to live in your home, your climate, how well insulated your home is, your comfort preferences, and your budget.
Just In Time can calculate the annual estimated operating cost of models you’re considering. The ‘best’ one for you is the one that works for your budget, your family’s comfort, and your feelings about the environment.
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