Your New Air Conditioner: It’s Not All About SEER Rating
One of the biggest points to be aware of when shopping for a new A/C is the unit’s efficiency. A new unit will have a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, which indicates how much energy the unit uses to produce cool air. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency and the lower your energy bills.
There are several other features to consider when looking for an air conditioner upgrade:
1. A high-temperature rating (EER) and a thermal expansion valve (TXV). A high-temperature rating is another way of assessing an air conditioner’s efficiency. It is the measurement of how efficient the unit is at high temperatures, as opposed to the SEER rating, which measures efficiency at various temperatures throughout the seasons when air conditioning is typically used. A new unit should have an EER of 11.6 or greater. The TXV, which controls the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator, helps to improve hot weather performance.
2. Quiet operation. A/Cs manufactured now can operate at much quieter levels, allowing you the temperature comfort as well as minimal mechanical noise.
3. Fan-only switch. A switch that operates the circulation fan only will let you circulate air throughout your home when you don’t need conditioned air. Using the fan alone requires considerably less energy than running both the fan and the compressor.
4. Filter check light. This reminder light can help you keep your A/C’s filters clean. Filters should typically be cleaned or replaced every one to three months.
5. An automatic-delay fan switch. This feature will shut the fan off shortly after the compressor. Running the fan after the compressor makes no difference to your home’s comfort and wastes energy.
6. Variable-speed air handlers. With variable speed air handlers, the fan motor can run at different speeds depending on your cooling needs. This means that the unit provides you with the option of using less energy than a single-speed system.
Have more questions about what to look for when shopping for an A/C upgrade? There are several other important factors to consider beyond the SEER rating, and the professionals at Sobieski Services can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment or to get answers to your HVAC-related questions.