2011 was one of the hottest summers on record for the U.S. The Kansas City area was no exception, as our people, produce, and plants suffered through the heat. As a result, summer energy bills also skyrocketed, a circumstance that has many homeowners considering an air conditioner upgrade to keep that from happening again.
Cooling the air in your home consumes roughly half of your household’s energy usage, and that percentage can be even higher if your A/C equipment is old or inefficient. If you want to upgrade to an air conditioner that will cut back your home’s energy consumption, you should understand SEER ratings.
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is a standarderized rating in the industry that provides consumers with important efficiency rating for each manufactured cooling system.(Its much like the car industry that post MPG on a window sticker when shopping for a new vehicle). This “SEER” rating system is helpful when shopping for a new cooling system. Simply explained, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. Technically, SEER is a ratio of the BTU output (tonage) divided by “watts” consumed to deliver those BTU’s. The SEER is useful tool for understanding the long-term costs and benefits of operating the A/C.
- Look for a rating of at least 16. Modern SEER ratings go from 13-26, with ratings of 16 or over considered high efficiency.
- Ask about lifetime costs. Lifetime costs are more important than the sticker price. That’s because lifetime costs factor in energy expenses, maintenance and other factors to determine the realistic costs of owning the equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the lower the costs of operating it.
- Consider your usage. With the continual increase of electricity rates consumer’s pay to keep cool during the extreme summer heat in Kansas City, it may be worth investing in equipment with a SEER of 16 or higher.
To make sure you select the perfect air conditioner for your home, contact Overland Park Heating and Cooling. With nearly three decades of service to Greater Kansas City, we have the expertise to help you make the right choice, install the equipment and maintain it correctly, so you get the most out of your investment.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).