What Are the Energy Efficiency Ratings to Consider When Selecting an AC Unit?

If you want to cut down on your monthly energy expenses, you should think about your energy efficiency.




Jan 21, 2021

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Your air conditioner uses the most energy in your home, and while you want it running to keep you cool, you don’t want to wind up with outrageous energy bills.

Choosing a new air conditioner can help you keep those energy costs down. Newer models are far more energy efficient than their predecessors. If you’ve been shopping around, you’ve probably noticed energy efficiency ratings. These can tell you more about how much energy it will consume.

Chances are, if your unit is approaching the end of its 10-year lifespan, it’s not all that efficient. Here’s what you need to know about energy ratings to help you make the best choice for your home.

How to Know an AC Is Energy Efficient

In addition to looking for the ENERGY STAR label, the rating systems you should get to know as you look at new air conditioning units are EER and SEER.

EER Rating

EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, calculates an air conditioning unit’s energy efficiency by using a constant for both outdoor temperature and indoor temperature. The number is determined by capacity in BTU/h, which is the British thermal unit per hour, divided by power in watts. A good EER rating for an air conditioner is 8.5 or above. The higher the number for this rating, the more efficient the air conditioning unit.

SEER Rating

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is perhaps the most common way to measure energy efficiency on appliances. It is calculated by dividing the cooling output during summer by the energy used. There is a wide range of what is considered a good rating with SEER. Anything from 13 to 21 is an energy-efficient choice for your home.

Why Is Energy Efficiency Important?

Upgrading to an energy-efficient air conditioning system is important, especially if your old system is starting to require frequent repairs. It will certainly be an investment, but it will save you money on your energy consumption.

Additionally, it’s more environmentally friendly since it releases fewer greenhouse gasses. You’ll lower your carbon footprint, plus your new system won’t be using R-22 freon, which stopped being produced in the U.S. in 2020.

An energy-efficient AC also gives you better control thanks to modern technology. It makes it easier to adjust the temperature, turning it off when you’re not home and switching it on before you come back to keep you comfortable. You’ll also enjoy better airflow and quality with fewer impurities in your home’s air.

Tips to Improve AC Efficiency

Additionally, you can do a few things to improve your new AC’s efficiency even more. For starters, keep up with changing your air filters every 30 to 90 days. This prevents dust, dirt, pet hair, and debris from blocking the airflow.

You should also keep the outside area surrounding the unit clear of debris. You don’t want plants, shrubs, leaves, or grass clippings interfering with its function.

Inside your home, keep appliances that produce heat far from your thermostat. Putting them too close could result in an inaccurate temperature reading, forcing the unit to work harder than it should.

Make sure you repair any cracks or holes along ceilings, walls, and windows. This will keep your cool air from leaking out. Your air conditioner needs to work harder with these openings letting cool air out of your home. Additionally, shut all doors and windows before running your AC.

You can learn more about which air conditioning units would be the best choice for your home by visiting activeplumbingandair.com/air-conditioning-installation/.

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August 9, 2023
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