How the SEER Helps Knowledgable Homeowners Upgrade an Air Conditioner

by Greg Leisgang on June 19, 2014

Posted in: Air Conditioners

SEERA shrewd homeowner approaches a home improvement project as a long-term investment—as an asset rather than a liability. It's wise to have all the facts, such as efficiency ratings and performance features for an air conditioner replacement, so that the asset doesn’t become a liability. Read on to see how SEER factors into your A/C shopping.

SEER and Air Conditioner Selection

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, represents the cooling efficiency of an A/C or heat pump in terms of estimated cooling output to energy consumption during a cooling season.

SEER testing is required by the U.S. government for all air conditioning systems, so consumers may make an informed decision to the potential operating costs of different brands and models. The higher the SEER number, the greater energy efficiency and performance the A/C delivers.

Investment in Efficiency and Comfort

When selecting a new A/C upgrade, there are too many factors that affect the lifetime performance of an air conditioner to simply go by the sticker price alone. The following elements and factors should be considered:

  • Home preparation and efficiency upgrades, including air sealing and insulation
  • Manual J cooling load calculation 
  • Advanced features and add-on equipment, such as zoning systems and programmable thermostats
  • Correct AC system sizing using Manual S
  • Duct sealing or retrofits using Manual D
  • Installing the new A/C with a NATE-certified technician
  • Regular professional maintenance through an annual service plan

SEER and Lifetime Costs

Your HVAC professional should provide the lifetime cost and return on investment (ROI) data for all A/C systems you're considering.

  • The lifetime cost is the sum of the purchase and installation costs, along with operating costs (SEER) and annual service.
  • The ROI is the point at which a higher priced and higher-efficiency A/C pays for itself in energy savings. 

For more information about SEER and air conditioner installation for your West Chester home, please contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling.

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