Efficiency is one of the big buzzwords of the 21st
century. We want all our appliances to be more efficient, using less energy while
providing the same results. Thanks to modern technology, many appliances can
actually provide excellent results at lower energy costs. We even have a
government program, ENERGY STAR, to provide a baseline for energy-efficient
Because air conditioning systems consume larger amounts of
electricity over the summer, finding one with high energy efficiency can make a
tremendous difference in general energy consumption and utility bills for a
household. Although high efficiency isn’t a guarantee of money savings (as we’ll
explain a bit later), it’s a starting place for finding a new AC installation.
How Air Conditioning Efficiency Is Measured
When you look at the stats for a central air conditioning
system, you’ll see two efficiency ratings: EER and SEER. These stand for energy
efficiency ratio and seasonal energy efficiency ratio. They are
almost identical, with one important exception.
EER is the ratio of the amount of cooling an air conditioning
unit provides (as measured in BTUs of heat removed from the air) to the amount
of electricity consumed (as measured in watt-hours). The measurements are taken
over a single test at a set temperature and humidity. The higher the EER number,
the more efficient the air conditioner under those specific conditions.
SEER is the same ratio of cooling to electricity. The
difference is that the measurement is done over an entire season of cooling
with a range of temperature and humidity conditions. SEER gives a better sense
of an air conditioning system’s performance compared to the single test to
determine EER. SEER is almost always higher than EER.
What Is a “Good” Efficiency?
This is difficult to answer, although ENERGY STAR has efficiency
requirements in order for a unit to receive approval: 12.5 EER/15 SEER or higher.
This requirement has climbed over the past few years as manufacturers improve
on efficiency performance.
However, there are high-efficiency air conditioning systems
that use multi-stage compressors and variable-speed fans that can have SEER
ratings in the 20s.
Finding the Ideal Efficiency
We don’t recommend buying the highest SEER you can afford
just because you can afford it. An air conditioner must be carefully matched to
a house to ensure it can actually perform up to its efficiency rating while delivering
the cooling necessary for comfort. The highest SEER air conditioner will still
be an energy waster if it’s too large or too small for the house.
This is where professional HVAC technicians are invaluable. They
will help you balance the different factors involved in central air
conditioning installation so you’ll end up with a unit you can afford that cools
your home without wasting power.
To get started with finding the ideal new air conditioning installation in Boca Raton, FL, you only need to call First Response. All our technicians are factory-trained and NATE-certified, and they can help narrow down your search to find an air conditioning system that has the right combination of efficiency and efficacy.
Call First Response Air Conditioning & Refrigeration to schedule AC installation. PROFESSIONAL – SKILLED – FRIENDLY