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Buying A New Air Conditioning System: Efficiency Ratings.

Posted by Michael Kamps on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 03:23 PM

Air Conditioner Efficiency Ratings

Every homeowner in the Greenville, Rockford and the Cedar Springs area who is thinking about replacing their air conditioning system should understand the equipment manufacturers efficiency ratings. You may have heard that air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces have come a long way inEnergyEfficiencyRatings the last 10 years. The most energy efficient air conditioner of 10 years ago is the bottom end of the units available today.

The technical explanation: Each air conditioner has an energy-efficiency rating that lists how many Btu per hour are removed for each watt of power it draws.  For central air conditioners, the more common term is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. These ratings are posted on an Energy Guide Label, which must be conspicuously attached to all new air conditioners. 

In general, new air conditioners with higher SEERs sport higher price tags. However, the higher initial cost of an energy-efficient model will be repaid to you several times during its life span. Your utility company may encourage the purchase of a more efficient air conditioner by rebating some or all of the price difference. Buy the most efficient air conditioner you can afford, especially if you use (or think you will use) an air conditioner frequently and/or if your electricity rates are high.

Nationally, a 13 SEER minimum air conditioner efficiency standard went into effect in 2006. However, this NOT accompanied by any requirement regarding installation performance, so much of the potential energy savings that customers expect will not be attained.

You'd be hard pressed to find a legitimate HVAC contractor who doesn't offer 13 - 21 SEER equipment. 

So, don’t be lured by advertisements featuring a “High Efficiency Air Conditioning Rating”?

Thinking About Purchasing A New Air Conditioner? Check Out Our '6 SURFIRE' Steps To Getting The Best Value:

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Tags: Ratings, Energy Efficiency, Buying A/C, Air Conditioning