Shopping For A High-Efficiency Air Conditioner? Look For The SEER Rating And The Energy Star Label

Air conditioners all look roughly the same. An air conditioner is not something that you can take a glance at and immediately tell whether or not it is a quality unit, or how energy-efficient it is. Yet, there are huge differences between different A/C models, especially when it comes to how much electricity they consume.

So, how do you know which models are more efficient?

You can start by looking for the Energy Star label. Energy Star is a government program designed to help consumers quickly and easily know whether they are buying energy-efficient products. If you see an air conditioner with an Energy Star label, you know that it is certified to use less electricity than standard, non-labeled competitors.

The Energy Star label is only part of the story, though. By itself, that label does not tell you whether the air conditioner just barely made the efficiency requirements, or whether it far exceeded them. So, for a more specific comparison, you will need to look at the different models' SEER Ratings. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The "Energy Efficiency Ratio" means that it compares the amount of cool air produced to the amount of electricity consumed. A higher number means that the A/C can produce more cooling output while using less electricity. The "Seasonal" part of the name refers to the fact that SEER is a measure of efficiency over the course of an entire cooling season, rather than the efficiency at a given time or temperature.

All new central air-conditioning units are required to have a SEER of 13 or more. Energy Star units will have a minimum rating of about 14.5, which is roughly 10 percent more efficient. And high-efficiency systems are rated SEER 16 through 23; such models can cut your cooling bill significantly, even when compared to other Energy Star models.

If you have any questions about which air conditioning system would work best for your Mid-Ohio home, contact the experts at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating. We are happy to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. To get started, check out our website.

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