I often am asked if it is even worth upgrading to energy efficient air conditioners or not. if you current air conditioner is about ten years old or older then yes because today’s energy efficient can save you upwards of 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs which is a sizable amount. When choosing a new air conditioner look always for a model with a high efficiency. Central air will also have another rating to pay attention to which is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Older models had seer ratings of about 6 but today’s norm is around 13, though for the best savings on energy you should look for models with a seer of higher than 13. To better understand what seer is I can say this, if you put 1 watt of energy into an air conditioner and it produces an average of 15 BTU’s of cooling, then it’s SEER rating is 15.
Central air system generally have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. While your older model may still function and have plenty of years left to it, you should add up the savings of a new unit and weight it against the years left on your unit and the savings a new unit will provide.
It is no secret that air conditioning runs up our electric bills during summer, and for some locations such as most of Texas and Arizona your AC can be running 9 months of the year or longer. Older model air conditioners are extreme energy hogs. The government started requiring AC makers to produce more efficient models and today a SEER 16 model can provide you with a 70% energy savings when compared to a seer 6 model. That is just for a seer 16 model as today’s more efficient air conditioning systems have SEER ratings as high as 23 which provide insane energy reduction! If you had a seer 10 model and upgraded to a seer 13 model your savings per year would be around $260 per year with just an increase in 3 seer ratings.
Your best air conditioners will carry the Energy Star® label. To qualify for this label the unit must be in the top 25 percent of efficient models and these will carry at least a seer of 14 to qualify. I should point out however that the seer rating only is the potential under ideal operating conditions and other factors can effect the actual energy savings provided by any model with any seer rating. There is always a catch but for the most part the rating system is pretty accurate.
The installation can effect how effective your new air conditioner is. Picking the right size for your home is also a big factor. Picking the right sized until that operates with in the varying conditions of your homes area will help to ensure you the energy savings that were advertised. When in doubt consult a professional air conditioning installation company as they have the knowledge, expertise and experience needed to help you select the most ideal energy efficient model for your home while taking into account all relevant factors.