Reap The Benefits Of A High-Efficiency A/C Upgrade

The federal Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average homeowner spends more than $1,000 per year on heating and cooling costs. The only way to get that cost down is to use less energy to make your home comfortable. Rather than sacrificing comfort for economy, many homeowners in the Mid-Ohio area are upgrading to high-efficiency A/C.

Most people who are considering a high-efficiency A/C upgrade likely are using an older model that wouldn't be considered high efficiency by today's standards. Modern technology has significantly improved the ability of air conditioners to provide the same amount of cooling power as in the past while using less energy. But how do you know if the air conditioner you're thinking about purchasing is a high-efficiency model?

In order to be considered high efficiency, a new central air conditioner must have a SEER rating of at least 14 (the level at which Energy Star certification can start). SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it measures the amount of cooling you get from the electricity that goes into the A/C during the course of the cooling season. Prior to 2006, the minimum SEER rating required was 10, but now the minimum is 13. The difference between SEER 10 and 13 is substantial, representing  a 30 percent difference in efficiency. Some older air conditioning models had SEER ratings as low as 6 or 8, so the older your current A/C is, the more savings you'll likely see with an upgrade. Nowadays, SEER ratings have risen into the mid-20s, and they're getting higher all the time with advances in technology.

Probably the simplest way to know you're getting an energy-efficient air conditioner is to look for the Energy Star label. The Energy Star program was created by the government to encourage energy efficiency and help consumers know which products meet high-efficiency standards.

For more expert advice about high-efficiency A/C upgrades or any other HVAC matters in your Mid-Ohio home, contact Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information on high-efficiency A/C and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area. 

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