Energy efficient air conditioners now dominate the market, operating so effectively they can chop electric bills by hundreds of dollars. You might find yourself spending less money to be cooler in the hot North Dallas sun!
Year after year, Texas is at or near the top of the list for high electric bills, as this article from 2011 illustrates. This article from Forbes magazine in 2010 listed Dallas as the city with the highest average electric bills in the USA.
Our costs per kilowatt hour aren’t bad, but the constant heat keeps air conditioners running full blast for months at a time. If that doesn’t make the case for energy efficient air conditioners I don’t know what would.
What is SEER?
Air conditioner efficiency is expressed in terms of a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the equipment. All central air equipment now manufactured and sold in the United States must have a minimum 13 SEER rating, but equipment is available with ratings 20 SEER and higher.
Before January 2006, the U. S. standard was 10 SEER, so a lot of homes still have this older, less efficient equipment. What’s the difference in practical terms? 13 SEER central air conditioning runs at 30% greater efficiency that 10 SEER equipment, while a 16 SEER unit is 60% more efficient.
You’re Probably Not Getting Your Full SEER’s Worth
But here’s the catch: you’re most likely not getting the full rated performance from any 10 SEER equipment, simply because of age. Even well-maintained central air equipment loses efficiency with age. If your present equipment is 5 – 10 years old, it’s likely to be performing at 8 SEER or lower.
That would make a 16 SEER unit TWICE as efficient, which could cut the cost of operating your central air system in half!
Faulty installation can reduce the efficiency of central air equipment below advertised SEER value. Mascot Mechanical technicians are recognized as experts in central HVAC systems. We have installed thousands of systems for top builders in North Dallas and throughout the DFW Metroplex, so we know good installation when we see it.
Improperly sized or poorly sealed ductwork is the most common installation problem we find. These problems can be corrected, and are well worth the investment, often producing as much as a 30% gain in efficiency. We strongly recommend annual AC tune ups of all HVAC equipment to keep them running as efficiently as possible.
What is Energy Star?
Companies that produce high efficiency equipment that meet strict government standards are permitted to display the Energy Star on their qualifying products. This is your assurance that your are getting certified high efficiency equipment.
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program established in 1992 to help businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Energy Star identifies and promotes energy-efficient products and building practices to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution.