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Purchasing a New Air Conditioner? Seriously Consider SEER

August 08, 2012

When you are looking for a new air conditioner for your Sarasota area home, there are seemingly limitless options: brand, size, model, single-stage, two-stage, etc. But one of the most important considerations for your new air conditioner should be energy efficiency, which is measured in SEER.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for Season Energy Efficiency Rating. SEER was developed and created by the U.S. Department of Energy to give you (the consumer) a way to accurately compare the energy efficiency of different air conditioners and heat pumps.

Air conditioners and heat pumps are tested in a laboratory setting under the same conditions. To calculate the SEER, the amount of cooling supplied during a cooling season is divided by the amount of power consumed during the same time period. In general, the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the cooling system and the more you will save on energy bills.

What SEER should I buy?

The energy efficiency of the air conditioner you buy will depend on your individual circumstances. Currently, the U.S. government mandates that all new air conditioners must be SEER 13 or higher. The previous minimum was SEER 10, so this represents about a 30% increase in energy efficiency from most older air conditioners, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Of course, there are air conditioners with even higher ratings, but he higher the SEER the more expensive the air conditioner. To help determine the right SEER for your home, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long do you plan to be in your home?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much do you value energy efficiency and helping the environment?
  • Will the energy savings offset the price difference?

Going beyond SEER

As we said, there are many choices when selecting a new air conditioner for your Sarasota area home. And while the SEER will play a major role in your new system’s efficiency, you should also consider some other important factors, such as:

  • Size – An air conditioner that is too small for your home will work too hard. One that is too big will also be less efficient. Have a contractor inspect your home and tell you the size you should be installing.
  • Existing Home – Do you have leaky ducts, adequate insulation, and a tight seal around the exterior of your home? These will all impact your efficiency.
  • Installation – Did you know improper installation can actually affect your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency? Make sure you hire someone you can trust.

At Cool Today, we want to help you find the efficient air conditioner that fits your home’s needs and your budget.

Schedule your free in-home estimate today to get started.

Posted in: Buyer's Guide

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