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Air Conditioner Efficiency: What You Need to Know

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Want More Bang For Your Buck? Choose an AC With One of These Ratings

The newer and better maintained the air conditioner, the more energy efficient it is. And the more efficient it is, the more money you save on utilities and the less energy you consume. Like flipping the light switch off before leaving a room, turning your air conditioner off when away saves money and energy. However, that’s just the start.

Modern air conditioning systems are rated for their efficiency via certain metrics. The three most prominent are the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and Energy Star certification.

SEER

SEER units provide a measurement of the cooling efficiency of an air conditioner. This is determined by dividing the total cooling output by the energy consumed in a certain time period. Cooling output is measured in BTUs (or tons), and energy input is measured in watt-hours. The resulting ratio is the unit’s SEER rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is.

HSPF

Unlike SEER, HSPF measures heating efficiency by dividing the total heating output by the energy consumed in a certain time period. Like SEER, this is again determined by dividing output in BTUs (or tons) by input in watt-hours. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is.

Energy Star

Both the SEER and HSPF ratings were recently established in 2008 by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. Almost two decades prior, however, the Energy Star international standard was developed for products sold in the United States.

Items that qualify usually use 20-30% less energy than required by federal standards. Any air conditioning system that is Energy Star certified is at least 10% more energy efficient than required by federal law.

If you want the most bang for your buck, then make sure to purchase an energy efficient system with at least one of these ratings. The more efficient your new air conditioner, the more money you will save. Call Essig today with questions on these ratings, or to have a system installed!

 

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