For those who don’t know, a SEER rating as pertains to the HVAC industry has nothing to do with the ability of a technician to read a crystal ball and foretell the future. Instead, this term (SEER) relates to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of an HVAC system.
Generally, systems with higher SEER ratings use less energy than those with lower ratings. The systems with higher ratings are more efficient because they require less energy to remove heat from the air.
As an aside, a common complaint I’ve heard from clients and friends is based on suspicion of an upsell, where a technician says the HVAC system they are using will likely break soon, and so they should consider a replacement. Obviously, it is impossible to shake an eight ball or look into a crystal ball and know the future.
However, the fact that older systems have much lower SEER ratings than newer ones makes a very compelling point in favor of replacement. Prior to 2008, many HVAC systems had a SEER rating as low as six. That all changed when the U.S. Department of Energy mandated that all new central air units should have a rating of 13 or higher.
At the end of 2022, systems with a 14 SEER rating will not be allowed for replacements. The new standard beginning at the start of next year be a 15 SEER rating or higher.
It’s easy to see how such a dramatic increase in efficiency could have a substantial, positive impact on electricity costs. There are many other reasons why it could make sense to replace a system, such as having the luxury of time to analyze the many different options available and the chance to avoid the stress that comes from making a quick decision.
One of the most important reasons would be to ensure that the size of the system matches the size and unique characteristics of your home. With summer heat on the way, for the purposes of this article, it makes sense (and cents) to discuss the idea of tonnage, which refers to the amount of heat an air conditioner can remove from an area in sixty minutes.
Bigger isn’t always Better
The perfect size, of course, is the one that keeps your home comfortable at the lowest possible cost. Using a system that is too big for your house could lead to a slew of problems, such as:
- More wear and tear – Systems that are too big cycle on and off constantly. This can lead to frequent repairs and premature replacement.
- Too much humidity – Short cycling does not allow the system to effectively dehumidify the air, an issue that can quickly spiral into many more problems.
- Higher costs – Bigger units cost more to purchase, operate and maintain.
Likewise, a system that is too small may be inadequate. One reason is that it may struggle or have to run constantly to achieve the desired temperature setting, resulting in high energy costs. It’s not as simple as getting the same size system as a replacement though, since it might not have been right in the first place.
As a critical first step in having a new system installed, the technicians will perform a load calculation, assessing the efficiency, insulation and many other variables associated with your home. This helps to ensure that the new system is the perfect match for your needs and provides you with the highest level of efficiency possible.
For a consultation about how to find the right HVAC system for your home, please call one of our offices or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Dot Heating and Air is committed to provide a consultative, transparent approach, driven by innovative technology and a diligent work ethic. With a team of highly trained and versatile technicians, a focus on helping clients make informed decisions, and a commitment to deliver substantial value, Green Dot Heating and Air is a leader in the coastal communities of North and South Carolina. To arrange a free at-home consultation, a repair/installation or simply find guidance about the nuances of modern heating and air conditioning systems, call us or visit www.greendothvac.com.