Does SEER Save Money?

Male technician repairing air conditioner indoors, Does SEER Save Money? | HVAC Energy Efficiency | Sutton Brothers

Saving money is a hot topic for just about everyone, especially during these uncertain days surrounding COVID-19. Although we are all used to having reasonably comfortable temperatures in our homes, the energy we use in heating and cooling can be significant. Our team at Sutton Brothers wants to help you understand the ways that industry ratings can help you make money-saving decisions when it comes to your air conditioner.

What is SEER?

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute created the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) system in 2008. A SEER rating is determined using a mathematical calculation which measures the amount of energy required to produce a certain unit of cooling. More specifically, it divides a unit of cooling output, such as a British thermal unit (BTU), during an average season by the total electric input, measured by watt-hours, over the same period of time. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the HVAC equipment proves to be, and the more money you save in cooling your Kernersville home.

How Can I Calculate Cost Savings?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most older air conditioners can have a SEER rating down to six or possibly even less. North Carolina homeowners may be able to save anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent in energy savings with a new, high-efficiency air conditioning system.

In order to estimate your cost savings, you can use our SEER calculator available on our website. Essentially, a SEER calculator requires four pieces of information: the SEER rating of your current unit, the SEER rating of your potential new unit, the number of hours you use your air conditioner per season, and the cost of energy in your North Carolina. 

These calculators help you compare different units quickly and make the best decision for your family. Remember, air conditioners have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years and can even last 20 years with care and regular maintenance, so your choice is important. Contact us with questions or help using our SEER calculator.

What Else Contributes to Air Conditioning Costs?

Purchasing a new air conditioning system is a significant investment. Besides considering energy efficiency measures such as SEER ratings, it’s important to select the correct air conditioner size for the space you need to cool.

If you choose an air conditioner that’s too small for your home, it will be running constantly and fail to adequately cool down your living space. This can wear down your unit too quickly as well as overwork the components to cause additional damage. On the other hand, an air conditioning unit that is too large for your space will tend to short cycle. That essentially means it will turn on and cool down your home quickly and then shut off. Although this may sound appealing, that kind of activity is bad for your air conditioning equipment. Short cycling reduces your AC’s lifespan and wastes energy in the process, which costs you more money in the long run. In addition, short cycling will fail to remove excess moisture from your home, leading to higher, uncomfortable, and potentially damaging humidity levels.

Although you might be tempted to calculate the size of your needed air conditioner on your own, it is best to let our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians make those calculations for you. For example, homes with cathedral ceilings or unusual layouts may require special considerations when sizing or designing you air conditioning system.

Ongoing Care of Your AC

Once you have made an investment in a new air conditioner, be sure to review the warranty, its benefits, and its requirements. You will want to follow the maintenance requirements to keep your warranty valid.

It’s a good idea to schedule regular maintenance at the beginning of each cooling season. Your new air conditioner will be cleaned, inspected, and tuned-up. Proper maintenance will keep your equipment running more efficiently and reliably, saving you money on expensive repairs and increasing the lifespan of your air conditioning system.

We understand that an air conditioner is a significant investment and want to help you get the most out of your hard-earned money. A system that is efficient, sized correctly, and well taken care of will keep your family cool and comfortable for many seasons.

Our team at Sutton Brothers in Kernersville, NC, would be happy to review the latest high efficiency air conditioning systems with you and answer additional questions about SEER ratings. Call at 336-390-3902 or contact us online.

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