A central A/C is one the most expensive systems you’ll purchase for your home, and since it has a 10- to 15-year lifespan, replacing it represents a long-term commitment. When the time comes to upgrade your existing cooling equipment, it’s wise to thoroughly investigate air conditioner ratings for the models available that match your budget to make the best choice.
In our Georgia climate, keeping a home comfortable during the cooling season uses a lot of energy so equipment efficiency has a direct impact on your monthly utility bills and yearly operating costs. This is why it’s essential to know how A/C efficiency is measured and compare different models. The first place to look is on the EnergyGuide label, which is designed to make equipment comparison shopping easier for consumers. The key piece of information found on the label is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) assigns each new air conditioner model a numerical SEER rating that tells you its energy efficiency for a single operating season. In more technical terms, it describes the unit’s total British thermal units (Btu) of cooling output relative to its watt-hours of energy consumption. Central A/C models available today have SEER ratings ranging from 14 to 26, and a higher rating means greater efficiency.
A different rating that’s included in the DOE’s Energy Star program specifications is the EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio. This rating gives you a look at equipment efficiency as a constant, with the A/C operating at peak conditions, which are an outside temperature of 95 degrees, an inside temperature of 80 degrees, with 50 percent humidity. A higher EER indicates higher efficiency.
When you’re comparing equipment, it’s wise to look at both the EER and SEER ratings for the models you’re considering, because they describe the air conditioner’s efficiency in two different situations.
For more expert advice about air conditioner ratings, contact the Peachtree City home comfort pros at Powers Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.
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