Use SEER to find the Most Efficient Air Conditioner
SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
When purchasing a new air conditioning unit, one of the most common desires is to have a system that operates efficiently. To find the most efficient air conditioner, you need only look at one number, the SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
SEER is measured by dividing the total cooling energy required for the cooling season by the total electrical energy required for that season. This means that the SEER is the ratio of cooling capacity in an air conditioning unit to how much power is inputted. This is calculated to inform you on how efficiently your air conditioning unit will run throughout the season.
Essentially, you are looking for a higher number – the higher the number, the more efficient your unit. The more efficient your unit, the less energy it will use. Therefore, you save money on your energy bills and leave a smaller carbon footprint on the environment. You’ll find that if you currently have an air conditioning unit that is more than ten years old, its SEER number is much lower than a lot of units on the market today.
Similarly, in regards to your furnace, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (or AFUE) is used to measure the efficiency of your unit. It is calculated by comparing the annual heat output to the annual fossil fuel energy consumed by the furnace. Upgrading to a furnace with DC motor and a higher (AFUE) will decrease not only your natural gas costs but your hydro costs as well. A DC motor will also raise the SEER rating of your air conditioner as well.
It comes down to understanding the efficiency of your air conditioning unit and your furnace through SEER and AFUE, and determining the most efficient unit that fits your needs.
The highest SEER isn’t always the best fit for any particular home. We recommend you speak to an HVAC professional regarding the best fit for your home, because a system that it is not sized correctly can cause short-cycling or non-stop operation. Both of those can make your system vulnerable to breakdowns and overall less efficient. With hydro costs increasing daily improving your equipment is a way to minimize costs and improve performance.