When it comes time to upgrade your air conditioner, your major concerns are household comfort and energy efficiency over the long term. The question for many Connecticut homeowners is how do you determine which cooling system will provide these all-important qualities?
One way to compare energy-efficiency across brands is to look at seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEERs), a comparison of expected cooling capacity versus seasonal energy consumption. The higher an air conditioner is rated in terms of SEER, the more efficiency you can expect over the course of the season.
In 2006, the federal government raised the minimum required SEER on all new air conditioners from 10 to 13, an efficiency difference of up to 30 percent. If your cooling system is more than 10 years old, it could have a SEER rating even lower. Thus, upgrading to a new unit can equal significant energy savings over the long-term.
An easy way to spot a high-efficiency air conditioner is to look for the Energy Star label. A joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star-qualified products carry the government’s stamp of approval. To carry the Energy Star label, air conditioners must carry a minimum 14 SEER.
When you replace an air conditioner, it’s also wise to consider replacing your heating system. This is because your air conditioner actually makes use of the furnace fan for household circulation. Connected to an older furnace fan, your new high-efficiency cooling system may not provide optimal performance, especially if your furnace is more than 15 years old.
Also important in maximizing efficient system performance is proper sizing. An under-sized system won’t handle the cooling load while an over-sized system will often cut off early, leaving air uncomfortably humid and your home at risk for mold growth. To avoid these pitfalls, always ask for a proper load calculation.
If you’re interested in a high-efficiency upgrade, let our NATE-certified technicians help you find the most appropriate air conditioner for your household. For expert consultation, contact Glasco Heating & Air Conditioning today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Glasco Heating & Air Conditioning services South Windsor, Connecticut and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website.