When it comes time for you to buy a new central air conditioner unit, make sure your contractor addresses its SEER rating (energy efficiency). Why? Because a SEER rating of 10 cost twice as much to operate as a SEER rating of 20. Also, the higher the seer rating, the more comfortable your home will be during the air-conditioning season (less humid and more even temperatures). Old AC units can have a SEER rating of under 10 and newer units can go up as high as 25. By the way, SEER stands for “SEASONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATING”.
So, why doesn’t everybody buy the highest SEER rating possible? Because it costs much more, of course! Homes farther south (like Florida) use their air-conditioners much more than people in New York. So higher energy efficiency pays off faster in Florida than it does in New York. There is a SEER “sweet spot” for both economics and comfort.
Most AC contractors recommend a SEER of 16 or so. But you might want to get a more efficient unit to improve your general comfort during the air-conditioning season and reduce your operating expenses.
So, make sure you discuss the SEER rating options with your HVAC contractor before you make your purchase.
Here’s a link to a nice tool for figuring out Seer ratings and savings:
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