It seems like every summer, you get to watch your utility bills increase as soon as the air conditioner goes on. If you’re like most homeowners in the greater Cleveland area, you probably find yourself wondering how you can keep your home comfortable and bills reasonable. A high-efficiency A/C upgrade may be the answer you’re looking for.
High-efficiency air conditioners use less energy to produce the same cooling effect as a lower efficiency model. Advances in technology have made modern air conditioners use 30 to 50 percent less power than models made in the 1970s while cooling just as well. Even if your current air conditioner is only a decade old, you can still see up to 40 percent savings on your utility bills with a high-efficiency A/C upgrade.
One of the primary reasons for the improvement in efficiency has to do with the required standards set by the government. An air conditioner’s energy efficiency is measured by its SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It measures how much cooling power is used during the hot season and divides that amount by the total energy that was used during the same time period. In other words, it rates how effectively your energy was used to cool your house during course of the summer.
Before 2006, the minimum standard for an air conditioner’s SEER rating was 10, and older models could have a rating as low as 6. Starting in January of 2006, the standard was raised to 13. That results in a 30 percent increase in efficiency over models with a SEER rating of 10.
The higher the SEER rating on an air conditioner, the more efficient it is. Although 13 is the minimum SEER rating for energy efficiency, you can find models that are rated higher that will improve your savings on your utility bills. If you’re concerned about remembering all the different rating numbers, you can simply look for the Energy Star label, which indicates a high level of energy efficiency.
For more information about high-efficiency A/C upgrades in the greater Cleveland area, contact Stack Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about a high-efficiency A/C upgrade and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.