When shopping for a new air conditioning unit, homeowners are quick to narrow down their options based on price, capacity and design. These are indeed important factors as the AC should be affordable, able to provide adequate cooling and well-suited for the intended purpose. However, these should not be the only considerations. Efficiency must not be forgotten as it is the main indicator of performance and cost of ownership throughout the product’s lifetime.
What is SEER?
S.E.E.R. stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a standard for measuring how well a unit can use energy to expel heat and generate a cooling effect. This depends on the clever engineering of the compressor and other parts of the system. The typical range for available products goes from SEER-13 to SEER-23. A larger number indicates higher efficiency.
All things being equal, units with a better SEER rating will be able to consume less energy while producing the same level of cooling. Thus there is no compromise in terms of comfort. The more efficient unit is likely to have a bigger tag price due to the technologies used but this is offset by the lower energy bills that the family will enjoy over the years. Savings can amount to thousands of dollars over their lifespan.
In addition to the economic benefits, efficient systems are also of immense help to the environment. All air conditioners give off greenhouse gasses but those with higher SEER ratings generate less. The difference is astounding with tens of thousands of pounds prevented from getting released into the atmosphere. This act of prevention has the same effect as planting acres of forest and is much easier to accomplish.
Making smart choices today yields excellent results tomorrow. Be sure to look for the SEER rating the next time you are on the hunt for a brand new air conditioner. Systems which were installed more than 10 or 20 years ago should be replaced with modern units. Their efficiency alone makes up for the initial cost and some utility companies actually pay their customers to switch over. If you are interested in learning more, call us for the top rated energy efficient HVAC products in the industry.