Although the cooling season in Ohio can be relatively short some years, we all know the importance of having a quality air conditioner to keep us cool in the hot summer months. If you have an older air conditioner, it is most likely a one-stage unit, meaning that when you turn it on, it comes on at full blast and stays that way until it reaches the temp you set on your thermostat.
Although this process works, it is not the most efficient. Most air conditioners are designed to keep your home at a cool 75 degrees inside when the temperature outside is a hot 90 degrees. Therefore, when the temperature outside is less than 90 degrees and your system is running, your air conditioner is basically over sized.
Having a multi-stage air conditioner solves this problem by being able to run all of the time at different speeds to maintain the temperature indoors.
Half of your air conditioner actually sits on top of your furnace. This part is called the evaporator coil and it is responsible for removing the heat from the air in your home.
The unit that sits outside your home cools down your evaporator coil inside through the use of Puron (or Freon if your unit is older) and then the warm inside air is blown over these coils to cool it down. Because of this setup, most new air conditioners are referred to as “split-systems”.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a common term associated with new air conditioners. Just like the AFUE rating on a furnace, the SEER rating on an air conditioner lets you know just how efficient your unit is.
The lowest SEER air conditioners available today come in at 13 SEER. The high efficiency units are 16 SEER and higher. If you have an old air conditioner, more than likely your unit is currently a 10 SEER unit.
But what does this mean exactly? Think of it as you would the MPG rating on a car, the higher the SEER rating, the less energy the air conditioner uses to cool your home.
Did You Know?
If you currently have a 10 SEER air conditioner and you upgraded to a 16 SEER unit, you could save on average 38% a year on energy costs. The average 10 SEER air conditioner will cost around $1,300 a year in energy to run.
A 16 SEER air conditioner will cost around $827 a year in energy consumption. This is definitely something to consider when shopping for a new air conditioner as a high efficiency unit will essentially pay for itself over time!
Things To Consider
- Number of windows in your home
- Number of people living in your home
- Temperature preferences
- Layout and existing duct work in your home (if applicable)
- Type and quality of insulation in your attic and walls
- Preferences in efficiency and price