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Air Conditioner Efficiencies: A Short Guide

money-saving-homeTwo weeks ago, we took a look at making plans to have a new air conditioning system installed in your home. Spring is a great time to have this done, and when you contact our technicians regarding it, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying an excellent new AC in your home.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at specific piece of information about new air conditioning systems that’s essential for ensuring you end up with the ideal new unit: efficiency. This is a complex topic and requires the know-how of professionals. But a bit of knowledge is always helpful for consumers, so here is a simple explanation of the efficiency ratings for modern air conditioners.

What Energy Efficiency Means for an AC

The term energy efficiency is used often today when talking about conserving power with newer appliances. What does it mean specifically for an air conditioner? It’s a measure of how much cooling power an AC unit delivers compared to how much electricity it uses for the job. A high-efficiency air conditioner should consume less electricity compared to a lower efficiency system that provides identical cooling—at least with all other conditions being equal. (They rarely are, but more on that later.)

The Crucial Ratings: EER and SEER

There are two important energy efficiency ratings: energy efficiency ratio (EER) and seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). They’re almost identical—with one major exception.

  • EER: This is the ratio of the amount of cooling a unit provides (measured in BTUs of heat removed from the air) to the electricity consumed (measured as watt-hours). A unit’s EER is determined through testing at specific humidity and indoor/outdoor temperatures. The higher the EER, the more efficient the system.
  • SEER: This is the same ratio of cooling power to electricity, with a higher number indicating greater efficiency. However, SEER is the average of tests taken over an entire season rather than a test under fixed conditions. SEER therefore provides a better sense to a homeowner of how efficiently an air conditioner runs through a summer. In general, SEER is weighed heavier than EER, although the latter shouldn’t be ignored.

The current ENERGY STAR regulations require a central air conditioner to have a SEER/EER rating of at least 15/12.5.

How Much Efficiency Ratings Matter

It’s easy to assume a system with the highest SEER is the superior one, and homeowners should aim to purchase the air conditioner with the highest SEER they can afford. But we previously mentioned that comparisons between different systems rely on all factors being equal. And that’s not true in reality: there are many factors about a specific home that aren’t part of the calculation. Purchasing a high efficiency system isn’t a guarantee of savings. Without a professional to help guide the purchase, a high-efficiency AC may end up wasting money or providing inferior comfort.

To help you choose the right AC for your air conditioning installation in Bossier City, LA, look to our professionals. They’ll weigh all factors so that you have a new system that provides savings without other major drawbacks.

Call the Doctor of Home Comfort today: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration offers air conditioning service in Shreveport, LA and the surrounding areas.

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