If you’re thinking about air conditioner installation in The Bay Area, you should also be looking at your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. In a nutshell, it examines how effective your air conditioner is at converting electricity into chilled air. A greater number means your air conditioner is more efficient, which is excellent for your energy bills.
However, there are a lot of different options out there for air conditioners. And a greater SEER number usually involves a bigger cost. So, how can you determine which one is ideal for your house?
At Contra Costa Heating & AC, we provide a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can request one by contacting us at 510-343-9841. Our experienced air conditioner installers will work with you to help you find the right air conditioner for your home. Plus, they’ll also give you a free, no-obligation estimate.
For the time being, let’s go over SEER ratings and how they can impact your home’s comfort. And your electric costs.
What Does the SEER Rating Even Matter?
In 2016, the federal government made new SEER criteria. New air conditioners are mandated at baseline 13 SEER in the north United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you don’t know when you had your air conditioner installed or what its SEER ranking is, you can look at the sticker on the unit outside your house. If you can’t find the sticker, you can reach us at 510-343-9841 for support.
If your air conditioner was replaced prior to that year, it’s probably much less efficient. Air conditioner technology has swiftly advanced in the past couple of years, with major advancements in energy efficiency and smart home capability. Connecting your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you spend less on electric expenses, because the thermostat can automatically regulate your temperature settings when you’re away.
If your current air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, adding a 14-SEER system could save you close to 30–50% on annual cooling costs. Your savings are tied to your air conditioner size and your temperature settings.
Is the highest SEER Rating the Best?
An air conditioner with a higher SEER rating will be more efficient at using electricity for cooling. The most efficient ones, which can go as great as 26 SEER, have ENERGY STAR® designation. This designation means the air conditioner matches EPA requirements for energy savings and environmental conservation.
While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are typically pricier, you’ll usually get the difference back over the years through reduced air conditioning costs. These air conditioners, which are usually rated 16 SEER and greater, consume about 8% less power than other new systems, according to ENERGY STAR.
One of the biggest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed technology. A variable-speed air conditioner can operate at a number of speeds. This improves comfort for your loved ones while keeping your utility bills reduced. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more consistent, since it can work for longer without consuming a lot more energy.
When installing a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll need to check that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is since your air conditioner relies on this equipment’s blower to disperse cool air across your residence. Furnaces only work for about 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we advise getting furnace installation at the same time so you can receive all the perks of your variable-speed air conditioner.
When you’re prepared to replace your air conditioner, the cooling professionals at Contra Costa Heating & AC are available to assist you. Call us at 510-343-9841 to request your free home comfort analysis now.