When you choose a new air conditioning system, one of the most important things is saving money. For some homeowners, this means saving at the time of purchase by choosing a relatively inexpensive model. However, your new air conditioner will only cost you more every month if you don’t choose a system with a high efficiency rating.
The U.S. government requires manufacturers to post information about the efficiency of air conditioners via the EnergyGuide label. This label lets you know the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of the unit, as well as whether or not it has received the coveted ENERGY STAR label. Here’s what all of this means for your air conditioning system.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
The SEER indicates how much energy an air conditioner uses to cool a space during a typical cooling season. This is displayed as a number over 13, as this is the current minimum for all air conditioners sold in the U.S. In Florida, this minimum will raise to a SEER of 14 in 2015. A higher SEER indicates a more efficient system.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has its own set of standards for what qualifies as a truly efficient system. If a system contains the ENERGY STAR label, this means it has met E.P.A. guidelines for both efficiency and performance. While ENERGY STAR air conditioners all have high SEERs, they must also emit few pollutants into the environment and still give customers the high performance they would expect from any air conditioning system.
Other Factors to Consider
The ENERGY STAR label is one of the best ways to ensure your new system saves you some money over the years. In fact, the savings over time will likely offset the price tag of a more efficient system. However, there are a few more steps you must take to keep your system as efficient as possible. Only allow a trained professional to install your system. Change the air filters every month. And schedule maintenance twice a year to restore efficiency and extend the lifespan of your unit.