You can significantly improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your Bay Area home by installing a new HVAC unit. Stemming from this, it’s critical that you do your homework before purchasing a new system. You want to make sure that your new HVAC unit is cost as well as energy efficient. SEER rating of a unit is a good way of determining its energy efficiency.
Quick Overview of SEER Rating
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It ranges between 14 and 25. Majority of HVAC units fall between 15 – 18 range. SEER rating of an air conditioner is calculated by dividing its heat removing capacity by the amount of electricity consumed. This unit is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).
You should purchase an air conditioner with a minimum of 14 SEER rating. Don’t be fooled by any marketing gimmicks that indicate a low rating to be a more advanced unit. You can ensure the worth of your purchase by looking at the SEER rating.
Improved Cost and Efficiency
You should opt for an efficient system that best fits into your budget when purchasing a new unit. The size of your air conditioner is a major factor that determines overall cost savings. Larger units can help with greater energy savings by upgrading to a more efficient unit. With that said, the overall difference between sizes may be negligible. You may see a difference of 7% in energy consumption for higher SEER rating levels. It’s vital that you focus on the expected savings over the unit’s lifetime instead of a single year.
SEER and AFUE Rating
You can make an informed HVAC buying decision by considering AFUE rating along with SEER rating. Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is for measuring the efficiency of furnaces. AFUE ratings measure the amount of heat produced by a furnace using a specific amount of energy. You can get the most efficient unit for your home by paying close attention to both AFUE and SEER ratings.
Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Unit
The type of system you choose can play a major role in the expected efficiency. The way you care for your system can help improve its efficiency. You should install a programmable thermostat if you want to reduce energy consumption. You can save a lot of energy by ensuring the HVAC system is not running at full capacity. In addition, you should replace the system’s air filter when dirty. Experts state that you should check the state of air filters at least once every 3 months. You should replace them as often as necessary or as per manufacturer recommendations.
Life Expectancy of the HVAC Unit
Units with a high SEER are usually more expensive. Taking this into account, you need to remember that the initial investment is stretched across the lifetime of the system. You may want to compare the additional cost with the amount of energy saved over the years. You may want to choose a less expensive unit if you are unable to get a solid return on the investment.
The type of HVAC unit you choose also plays a role on the overall efficiency and cost. For instance, ground-source heat pumps usually last longer as compared to other types of HVAC systems.