Air Conditioner Ratings 101

Air Conditioner Ratings 101

Fortunately, consumers aren’t without resources when it comes to selecting air conditioners. This is a good thing since your choice of a central A/C system will have long-term impacts on both home comfort and energy expenses. An inefficient cooling system not only will struggle to cool your home; it will cost an arm and a leg to do it.

Among available air conditioner ratings, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the most useful when shopping for a central A/C or heat pump system. Simply explained, the SEER number is obtained by dividing the cooling output of an A/C that’s running steadily by the electricity that feeds into it. The higher the SEER number, the less your cooling system will cost to operate. On the other hand, A/Cs with higher cooling efficiency tend to cost more upfront. A trusted HVAC expert can help you figure out what SEER level makes the most sense in your New Jersey home.

The federal government in recent years has set stricter minimum efficiency standards for HVAC systems, including air conditioners and heat pumps. Currently, U.S. manufacturers must abide by a minimum SEER of 13 for split-system air conditioners and 14 for split-system heat pumps. To earn the coveted Energy Star (awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA to energy-efficiency systems), a central split-system A/C or heat pump must have a minimum SEER of 15. (The split-system [with an outside and inside unit] is the most common central air conditioning system in American homes.)

If you have an A/C that’s 10-15 years old, its SEER may be 6 or lower. In that case, you can save substantially on cooling costs by upgrading to a minimally rated modern SEER system, and even more by installing an Energy Star-qualified system.

You also can increase cooling efficiency by upgrading to a central A/C with advanced features such as a variable-speed air handler/blower motor and multi-stage compressor operation.

For more help understanding air conditioner ratings, or to discuss upgrading to an energy-efficient system for your Monmouth County area home, please contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

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