With summer just around the corner, you may consider upgrading your air conditioning system. One of the most significant considerations when upgrading is the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). EER is a measure of how efficiently your system uses energy. It’s calculated by dividing the output cooling energy of an air conditioner (in British Thermal Units per hour) by the power it consumes (in watts). The higher the EER, the more efficient your system is. A higher EER rating also saves you money on utility bills.
Why Efficiency Ratings Matter: Choosing the Right Air Conditioner System for Your Home
We’ve all seen ratings on air conditioners, but do you know what it stands for?
The EER rating measures HVAC energy efficiency, with higher ratings indicating better efficiency. While EER is used for room air conditioners, SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is used for central air conditioners.
EER rating is calculated using a 95°F outdoor temperature and an indoor temperature of 80°F with 50% humidity. Meanwhile, the SEER rating looks at the cooling capacity during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric input during the same period, providing a more comprehensive view of energy efficiency over time. EER measures energy efficiency during the hottest months of the year, and SEER is more of an average energy efficiency rating.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) indicates the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner for the length of one cooling season divided by the electrical energy it uses in Watt-Hours. This ratio indicates the amount of cooling your system will deliver for every dollar you spend on electricity. Choosing the appropriate Efficiency Rating for your needs will not only help keep you and your family cool on those hot Ozark summer days and nights but also save you money!
We’ve shared additional information on understanding an air conditioner’s efficiency ratings here: https://lorenzphac.com/understanding-efficiency-ratings/
Energy Efficiency Standards Vary By Region
To make your cost savings even more significant, the U.S. Department of Energy places a minimum energy efficiency standard on appliances and equipment people use every day, like washers and dryers, refrigerators, and air conditioning units. The criteria vary by region because the output needs of a homeowner in Minnesota will differ from those of a homeowner in Texas.
People living in a southern region will use their air conditioners more often, requiring more energy-efficient systems. As a result, depending on your geographical area and HVAC needs, systems may have different efficiency standards.
These standards benefit everyone because they help keep us comfortable, save energy, and reduce utility costs. It is estimated that these standards have saved Americans over 1 trillion dollars. Imagine what you could do with your savings! More vacations and more money in the bank.
SEER Rating: Balancing Efficiency and Cost
So, let’s talk about the SEER efficiency rating a little more. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the heating and cooling system will be; the lower the number, the lower the efficiency. You will want the highest number possible to enjoy the benefits of higher efficiency, like lower utility bills. But the downside is the higher the efficiency, the higher the system’s initial cost. Just another thing to consider. We recommend going with the highest system that you can afford. Lorenz Plumbing Heating and Air has some fantastic financing options too.
The SEER rating ranges from 13 to 21, and while the minimum will offer some savings benefits, you will get more bang for your buck from the higher ratings. While the initial investment might seem costly, the long-term savings will likely offset it. Also, remember that SEER refers to a maximum efficiency rating, which could be affected by certain conditions. Your home’s size, ductwork quality, and structural issues can all contribute to these conditions.
Ductless Systems as an Alternative
If you are experiencing issues with your ductwork or don’t have any in place, there is a great alternative to traditional air conditioning systems. Ductless systems from Mitsubishi Electric offer a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution that provides zoned comfort and installation flexibility. These systems do not require ductwork, making them ideal for homes that do not have existing ductwork or where installing ductwork would be difficult or expensive.
Mitsubishi Electric ductless split system air conditioners provide individual temperature control for specific zones within your home, which means that you can save money by only cooling the rooms you are using. Additionally, they offer quiet operation and improved air quality since they filter and purify the air as it circulates. With advanced features like zone control and wireless controls, a ductless system can offer personalized comfort and convenience while also reducing energy usage and costs.
Or if you have a sunroom or add-on space in your home that isn’t connected to your existing ductwork, a ductless system from Mitsubishi Electric could be an excellent choice for keeping the space comfortable year-round. These systems are highly energy-efficient, quiet, and easy to install, making them an ideal option for adding a room air conditioner where it is not convenient to run ductwork or the existing system is not up to supporting the additional square footage
If you’re interested in learning more about ductless systems from Mitsubishi Electric, visit Lorenz Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning’s website at https://lorenzphac.com/mini-split-ductless-systems/. Their team of experts can help you determine if a ductless system is right for your home and provide recommendations on the best system for your needs.
SEER2: Newer Version of SEER
In addition to the SEER rating, you might also notice new information on SE so if that is a little unfamiliar. SEER2 evaluates an air conditioner’s energy efficiency and is an updated version of the traditional SEER calculation, which uses a new blower testing procedure. It includes the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season, and the new testing procedure increases the systems’ external static pressure by a factor of five to better reflect real-world or actual conditions of installed equipment. If you want to dig in more on the SEER2 details and measurements, check out this article from TRANE. https://www.trane.com/residential/en/resources/blog/whats-good-seer-rating/
Newer System More Efficient Always
If a big purchase isn’t feasible right now, that’s okay. Even a lower SEER rating on a new system will be much more efficient than an older AC system that is only at an 8 or 9 SEER Rating. Older systems usually turn on and off during milder weather, creating uneven cooling in your home. This will also keep humidity levels higher in your home, making it feel warmer and muggy. To get rid of humidity, an air conditioner needs to run for long periods, and if an older system is going on and off frequently, it can’t achieve a lower humidity level. This cycle not only increases your electric bill but cuts down on your personal comfort during the humid Missouri summer months.
Proper AC Size Ensures Comfort
Choosing the right size of an air conditioner is crucial for efficient cooling. A common misconception is that bigger is always better, but in reality, oversized units can lead to decreased performance and efficiency. An air conditioner that is too big for the area will cool the room(s) too quickly before proper dehumidification occurs. This can lead to an uncomfortable, clammy environment.
When sizing an air conditioner, it’s important to consider factors such as the size and layout of the room, the number of people and electronics in the space, and the climate of the area. A properly sized air conditioning unit will cool the room(s) at a steady rate, allowing for proper dehumidification and maintaining a comfortable temperature.
By consulting with a professional HVAC technician, you can ensure that your air conditioner is the right size for your space. Not only will this lead to better performance and efficiency, but it can also save you money on energy bills in the long run.
TRANE Units: Save Money, Stay Cool
Your friends at Lorenz Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning use high-quality TRANE brand units. We can help you save money and enjoy the summer by keeping your home cool and comfortable while using less electricity. As an added bonus, many utility companies offer rebates and incentives when upgrading.
A Heat Pump is a Sustainable Option
Heat pumps offer a sustainable way to heat and cool your home, acting as both a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer. They use electricity instead of fuel, and are designed to transfer warmth from the outside air or ground into your home. Despite using outdoor elements, you don’t need to worry about being too cold as the heat pump extracts heat and deposits it inside until the desired temperature is reached. For optimal performance, it’s best to keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature, avoiding frequent adjustments that can increase your electric bill. Heat pumps are an energy-efficient solution for year-round comfort.
Call Lorenz Today
Call your friends at Lorenz Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning at 417-863-1122 to learn more about what SEER rating would be best for your home or business.