Reduce Your Energy Bills Without Sacrificing Indoor Comfort
When it comes to buying a new air conditioner, you probably want something that lets you save money on energy costs, while also effective at keeping your home or office cool and comfortable throughout the hot months. It’s also nice to know your new HVAC system is environmentally responsible too. What should you select?
Many variables will come into play in making this decision, but one consideration will be the SEER score of your new unit. In fact, if you’re talking to a high-pressure salesperson, this may be the number they use to sell you the most expensive, advanced unit available. Don’t make this mistake. Before you buy, understand what the SEER score is, why it matters, and most importantly, why it should NOT be the single number that determines your purchase.
What is a SEER Score?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and is a benchmark for the amount of electricity a particular unit uses in delivering units of cooling (measurements called Btu/hs). By law, new air conditioning systems as of 2017 must have a SEER score between 13 and 25. In theory, higher scores reflect a more favorable ratio of cooling output to energy consumed.
So, you say, get me a unit with the highest SEER score possible! Not so fast.
The SEER score is not a fixed number that guarantees your system will operate at that ratio throughout the summer months. By the very nature of how it’s calculated, it reflects only an average, assuming a constant indoor temperature and varying outdoor conditions. Just because your air conditioner is rated 25 doesn’t mean it will operate throughout the season at that level.
For example, if you simply adjust the thermostat every day or multiple times a day, your system already will not operate at a high SEER ratio at all times. Changing weather, the overall quality of your equipment, and even whether your home, for example, is built on a basement or a slab will matter when it comes to determining the right SEER rating you should choose for your HVAC system.
High SEER Scores Can Mean More Expensive HVAC
Other factors going into your decision should include cost. High SEER rated products are more expensive to install and maintain than lower rated ones. Also, consider that you’ll find most older air conditioning units already installed in homes and offices throughout the Southland are probably SEER rated 8-10. Even purchasing a unit rated 13 or 14 will represent a huge improvement to your energy efficiency and costs.
Bottom line? Don’t fall for a sales pitch. Talk to an HVAC expert. Get the information first before you purchase. It should go without saying, but a good salesperson won’t make you feel pressured, or force you to buy now to save later. “One size fits all,” or “One SEER fits all” is never the right way to go about purchasing a new HVAC system.
Have questions? Need some advice? Call us today to discuss the options that are right for your home or office. Your indoor comfort is our priority! (626) 357-3535.