Buying a new cooling system?

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If your cooling system is over 15 years old, you can probably save on your electric bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency by investing in a new system. You want to make sure you purchase the right system for your home based on the size of your home, the usage, local climate and the amount of insulation in your home, in other words, the heat load on the home. Make sure you purchase a system with the Energy Star Label because these systems meet performance requirements established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There are two measures of air conditioner efficiency – SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) which measures the cooling output of a system divided by its overall power consumption during the cooling season, i.e., the warm part of the year, and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) which measures the “instantaneous” efficiency rather than over an entire season. Window units use EER and central air conditioning systems use both SEER and EER. The higher the SEER and EER ratings – the more energy-efficient the system.

In our area, since January 2015, newly manufactured residential air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 14. Energy Star qualified central air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 14. You can reduce your energy consumption by more than 35% by upgrading from a SEER 9 to SEER 14. Depending on your usage, this could reduce your monthly bill by $35 or more!

If purchasing a room air conditioner, look for units with SEER of 10 or higher.