High-efficiency air conditioners require less energy to cool a home, resulting in energy savings and lower utility bills. Installing a high-efficiency central air conditioner can save you 20-50% on cooling compared to an older system.
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How air conditioner efficiency is measured
It’s important when looking for a high-efficiency air conditioner to know how to compare units. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) measure the cooling efficiency of AC units.
Determine the SEER by taking the total cooling energy needed for a cooling season and dividing it by the total electrical energy used by the air conditioner during the cooling season. A higher SEER indicates higher efficiency. SEER values generally range from about 13 to 26.
New 2023 HVAC regulations raise the efficiency requirements for central air conditioners. Those sold in the northern portion of the United States must have a minimum SEER of 14. Those sold in the southern United States must have a minimum SEER of 15.
EER is an older method of calculating efficiency. Determine the EER of a cooling unit by dividing the total cooling energy output by the total electrical output. Room air conditioners most often use EER ratings.
The difference between the two is that EER measures efficiency at one constant temperature, while SEER calculates efficiency at varying temperatures.
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Pros and cons of high-efficiency air conditioners
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Save money on utility bills||Higher price upfront|
|More environmentally friendly||May be incompatible with existing furnace and blower motor|
|Deliver more consistent cooling|
|Eligible for ENERGY STAR rebates|
Should you buy a high-efficiency central air conditioner?
If you can afford the upfront investment, we recommend purchasing an efficient air conditioner. Not only will high-efficiency air conditioners save you money in the long run, but they’re better for the environment.
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Source: HVAC Feed 1