AC Efficiency Rating
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new air conditioning unit is the AC efficiency rating. As a consumer, you want to invest in the most efficient AC unit for the money. Checking the AC efficiency rating is a reliable method of purchasing the best unit for your needs.
Choosing an Energy Efficient AC Unit
AC unit manufacturers have streamlined the size of the units and although they are smaller, run a lot more efficiently than the big “Cadillac’s” of days gone by.
Anyone purchasing a new AC unit has got to pay attention to the efficiency rating of the unit because it impacts several things:
- The level of comfort in the space
- Controlling distribution of allergens
- Eliminating excess moisture
- How much you can expect to save on your energy bill
You’ll find that what may seem like a large up-front cost quickly and easily pays for itself many times over in the form of energy efficiency and costs of running the AC unit.
Checking the AC Efficiency Rating
AC energy efficiency is measured by the SEER rating. The higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), the more energy efficient the AC unit.
The SEER rating is based upon how much energy is required to achieve a certain level of cooling. In other words, how much energy does the AC unit require for maximum cooling output.
The less amount of energy consumption required for proper cooling is considered a high quality, energy efficient AC unit.
Not only do good SEER ratings deliver energy efficient AC units, they give a better indication of a good return on investment in terms of low maintenance fees, less service calls and lower energy bills.
A positively rated AC unit can last around 10-15 years with regular maintenance.
Improving AC Efficiency
Even with a great SEER rating, there are ways to improve AC efficiency even more. Simple things you can watch for and take care of yourself can go a long way to extend the life of your AC unit.
DIY Maintenance Tips
- Keep AC unit clean and dusted or vacuumed
- Change filters at least 2x per year
- Keep air ducts and vents clean and vacuumed
- Remove leaves, branches and other debris that may block coils or circulation vents
- Check for leaks or blockages in the drain line
When to Upgrade
It’s never a bad decision or time to upgrade to a more energy efficient AC unit. This is especially true if you have an older AC unit.
When you consider all the benefits of an upgrade, consider how much money is spent on older, energy-eating AC units. An upgrade will deliver better air quality, better control of moisture/humidity/mold, save on energy consumption and money.
The EPA has done consumers a favor by featuring SEER ratings right on the label of the AC unit. This shows consumers exactly how much energy and money that can be saved with an upgrade. These SEER ratings and guidelines take all the research, confusion and guesswork out of making the investment of an AC unit a good one.
- Understand SEER ratings or the measurement of AC efficiency ratings.
- Know that the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit.
- Look on the label to compare different brands and models and which make the most sense for your needs.
- Follow the EPA guidelines to determine what sort of savings you can expect.
- Follow a scheduled maintenance program to get the most from your AC unit.
Since a reliable and measurable AC efficiency rating system was established for the benefit of both HVAC professionals and consumers to improve energy efficiency for the home and environment, be sure to take advantage of it!