The Ad Said, "Save 50% On Your Utility Bills!"
So, is that Truth or Fiction?
You’ll hear a lot of industry jargon when talking to contractors, like “SEER”, “HSPF” and “AFUE”. These terms basically describe how efficiently the equipment operates, like miles per gallon for a car. The higher the efficiency number, the lower your electric and gas bills are supposed to be.
It's commonplace for contractors and manufacturers to tell you that a new high efficiency system won’t really cost you much, if anything, because the investment is offset by up to 50% savings on monthly utility bills. But does this really happen?
The Truth About Energy Savings
A few homeowners actually do save 25% to 50% on their utility bills after buying a new system. But an unfortunate reality is that most people see only some savings. And there are some people who haven't even saved a dime. Only a small fraction of newly installed systems reduce utility bills by the amount they are capable of, or that was anticipated. This is directly related to the contractor who installs it.
A SEER rating is established by the manufacturer. There is simply a lot more to efficient operation than the manufacturers’ ratings. Efficiency numbers are measured in a controlled, ideal laboratory setting.
Here's the thing, let's say you have a 10 SEER AC Unit; we could sell you a 14 SEER but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best thing for you to do without taking into account the age and maintenance schedule of your equipment. That's why it's good to tune up and benchmark your system to avoid this advertising 'trap'.
With 13 SEER as the minimum replacement equipment, the cost of air conditioning to jump to a 17 SEER is much more than going from 10 SEER to 14 SEER. The higher the rating, the less the savings per additional SEER rating. The point is, equipment efficiency ratings are becoming more of a commodity than ever.
A lot can and does go wrong when a contractor takes the equipment out into the real world and installs it in your home. Most homeowners are simply not getting the efficiency they are paying for.
That's why we follow the industries best practices when it comes to installation. You'll find it under the "How We Work" section.