When purchasing a new air conditioning system, there are many factors that need to be considered. Of course, we all want our new A/C units to give us the coolest air possible and continue to work with minimal maintenance for the lifetime of the unit.
However, there is another aspect many consumers don't understand: The unit's SEER Rating. This rating is used to calculate an air conditioner's energy efficiency, another very important aspect to consumers.
The Seasonal Efficiency Energy Ratio (SEER) is used to reflect the efficiency of air conditioning units on a seasonal basis.In 2006, the United States began requiring that all HVAC units sold have a SEER rating of at least 13. Beginning in 2015, the Department of Energy modified its requirements to account for regional differences. For example, units sold in the state of Maine do not need a SEER rating as high as units sold in Nevada.
The SEER rating represents the ratio of British Thermal Units (BTUs) to the amount of energy consumed in Watt-Hours. The actual calculation is: SEER = BTU / Watt-Hours. You can think about it like a new car's MPG rating -- the higher the rating, the less energy it will need. Aside from meeting Department of Energy requirements, the SEER rating can also be used when comparing units.
Generally speaking, the higher a unit's SEER rating reflects lower energy consumption (just like gas mileage!). A unit with a SEER rating of 13 will pass U.S. Department of Energy requirements, but a unit with a 14.5 rating will consume less energy and meet ENERGY STAR qualifications. Having a higher rating will ultimately mean less energy consumed and a much lower utility bill!
When purchasing a new HVAC unit, the SEER rating is used as part of a de-facto number for local permits. For the consumer, financial impact can be further predicted.
When considering two similarly-priced units it makes sense to choose a unit with a higher SEER rating, thereby lowering future energy bills.By using a unit's SEER rating as a guide, you can better estimate future energy use and save money.
As well, the environment is less impacted and future code compliance becomes easier to meet with a higher SEER rating. For many applications, minimum SEER-rated units can be most cost-effective, however, areas requiring a long cooling season and high energy costs may justify a higher SEER rating.
Go green with energy and money saving HVAC units. Call the experts of The Plumbing Works at (610) 440-3555 to make your Reading area home more efficient today.
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