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SEER Ratings for Efficient Cooling

Summer is here, and hopefully your air conditioning unit is running up to par, and providing you with the comfort that is so imperative in the hot Arizona summer heat. If it is not, it may be time to look at getting a new, modern unit. If this is the case, you’ll want to get one that will save you energy costs, while maintaining a high degree of comfort to you. In addition to keeping you cool, you may want to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. To the person who doesn’t know much about comparisons between the many A/C units available out there, and what the energy consumption is, the SEER rating will be very helpful. But what is it?

The acronym SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The name is apropos, because that is exactly what it measures … the energy efficiency. This rating indicates just how much cooling power you get from your unit in relation to the energy that you put into it. In other words, it measures the amount of cool air delivered per watt of consumed energy. SEER ratings for up-to-date A/C units run from about 13 to 23. The higher the number, the better the efficiency.

The SEER rating can actually be compared to your vehicle’s MPG (miles per gallon) rating. With cars, the more modern your vehicle, most likely the more efficient gas mileage you will realize. If you have owned your air conditioner for eight years or more, most likely your SEER rating could be as low as 8 or 10, and that’s a real
energy waster! Furthermore, the more energy efficient your unit is, the less carbon dioxide it emits into the atmosphere.

While the high SEER A/C ratings save you energy on the back end, they do cost you more on the front end. The higher the rating, the more expensive the A/C system will be. Nevertheless, it’s still a very smart investment, as you will most likely end up saving more on reduced energy costs than you spend on the unit. In addition, oft times the government will offer rebates on energy-friendly air conditioner purchases, which helps take the sting away from spending more up front.

Just owning an efficient air conditioning unit isn’t all you need to do to start conserving energy. The size and make of the air conditioner you get should be evaluated, as well as installed by A/C experts like the experienced technicians at Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical.

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