If your old air conditioner has reached the end of its life and you’re shopping around for a replacement, you will want to educate yourself about SEER ratings to ensure you select a unit with optimal energy efficiency. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it quantifies how efficient a given air conditioner is, as measured by the ratio of electrical input to conditioned air output.
Today, the minimum SEER rating for a newly manufactured air conditioner is 13, up from the previous minimum rating of 10, which was revised in 2006. To understand a given air conditioner’s relative efficiency, look for higher SEER ratings–the higher the ratio, the more efficient a given air conditioner is. While you will likely find that superior efficiency tends to come with a higher price tag, remember that the initial cost of your air conditioning unit is not the only thing you need to consider when making your purchase. You also need to calculate the expected operational costs of the air conditioner over its expected lifespan of about 15 to 20 years; for example, paying a few hundred dollars more initially for an air conditioner that is 15 percent more efficient than a less-expensive model makes good sense over the long run.
Another important metric you should be aware of is the EER, or general Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measurement differs from the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio because it tells you how efficiently the air conditioner will run when demand for cool air is at its peak during the hottest days of the year. The EER rating is particularly important here in Southern California, where we have a long and intense cooling season. Like the seasonal rating, the higher a given air conditioner’s EER, the more efficient it is.
If you need any help selecting the right air conditioner, don’t hesitate to call on the professionals here at Air-Tro Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been providing residents of the Los Angeles area with affordable expert service since 1969, and we’re proud to have been named the 2011 Contractor of the Year by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, Call (626) 357-3535 today!
Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Pasadena, CA area.