When you turn on your AC, you expect that it is going to provide cooled air. So, as long as it is providing the desired output, you may not think too much about the unit’s efficiency until you receive the bill. The energy efficiency of a cooling unit is calculated before you purchase a new one in San Antonio, TX. You will see the rating on the box. If you have had your cooling unit for several years, there are ways to estimate its energy efficiency. At Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating, we can help you calculate the current rating. To give you an idea, here are some factors that go into calculating the energy efficiency of an AC unit.
The Energy Efficiency Ratio(EER)
There are several ways to determine if a cooling unit is energy efficient. It has to be the right size, for example. If you expect your unit to cool your entire home, your best bet, in many cases, is to have a professional install a central cooling system. When you are going to cool a smaller space, a ductless AC unit is a worthwhile option. The energy efficiency ratio takes into consideration the unit’s cooling capacity and the power input in terms of watts. The higher the ratio, the more energy-efficient the unit. Those who label the cooling systems are judging it by how well it produces its output against how much energy it consumes. The less energy a unit uses to produce a stellar output, the more efficient it is.
When you are browsing new cooling systems, look for the ratio. You are also encouraged to look for the Energy Star logo.
A cooling system has to have enough power to properly cool a space. Ductless AC units have become more popular for newer homes and multi-unit buildings. A ductless unit can successfully cool off a studio apartment as well as a bedroom. A central cooling system is best for a larger home. Acquiring the correct size unit plays a role in its efficiency because you will not have to run it longer than necessary. If you have to keep a small unit on longer, you are consuming more energy. Additionally, you are causing more wear and tear on the system. In the long-run, this is not optimal.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
The EER rating is more often used for AC units that are located in rooms of a home. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, on the other hand, is used for central cooling systems. Heat pumps are also given a SEER rating. The higher the rating, the less energy the unit uses to produce its output. This means that you will be consuming less energy as well as paying less in energy costs.
Ductless AC units are expected to have a SEER rating, too. Since this is the system that is being used more frequently in multi-unit buildings, it must be as energy-efficient as possible. This falls into the overall efficiency-focused trend. Since more demand is being placed on electricity and its providers, related industries are finding ways to make appliances and residences less dependent on electricity.
These ratios come in handy when you are in the market for a new cooling system. If you find a unit that you fall in love with and it has a high rating, you should expect to make a larger investment. This is simply because it is going to grant you a return on your investment sooner. You can strike a balance between price and energy efficiency. Ductless AC units must earn a SEER rating of at least 14. So, you can enjoy a unit with that rating, too. If you want to go higher, 22 is enough in many cases.
Why the Ratings Are Important
The ratings are important because they are a guide for you, the consumer. They help you differentiate between all the units available on the market. Then, you can decide how much you want to spend based on the amount of energy efficiency the unit is going to deliver. The ratings help you decide the unit that is going to do the best job given the parameters of your home, too. The Energy Star logo is another helpful tool at your disposal. If you find a unit at a price you like that includes the Energy Star logo and a high enough SEER or ERR rating, you are on the right path. The goal is to find a system that provides you the most comfort in your home while keeping costs reasonable.
Energy Efficiency Rating of Your Current Unit
In order to keep a unit’s energy efficiency rating, you need to ensure that the unit is maintained. This means scheduling regular maintenance at least once a year. A technician from our team, for example, is going to go through a checklist. His job is to get the unit back to its manufacturer’s specifications, or at least as close as possible. If he cannot, he finds out why. Then, he takes the steps to find a solution. Ideally, the solution will only require a small repair. Once the unit ages, there may be replacements that have to take place, but that is far down the road. The units of today are energy efficient as well as durable. Plus, if the unit is inspected at regular intervals, it should reach its expected lifespan without too much trouble.
When your energy bills begin to rise, this is a sign that your cooling unit is beginning to lose its energy efficiency. At this point, professionals like us can come in and calculate their current efficiency based on a set of parameters. If it is consuming more energy to produce output, the rating is going to drop. All is not lost, however. Your unit could simply use a tune-up, or it could require some repairs.
Maintaining Your Unit’s Energy Efficiency Rating
The best way to maintain an AC’s energy efficiency rating is to keep up with maintenance. An easy place to start is changing the air filter. Then, our team works their way into the unit. We check the refrigerant levels, for corrosion on the coils and any obvious leaks. All the components of the cooling system should be working in harmony with each other. They should not be experiencing extra pressure because one is dirty, worn out, or requires calibration.
Then, there are ways to maximize your cooling system’s energy efficiency. Installing a ceiling fan is a great way to maximize airflow and circulation. A ceiling fan does not eat up a lot of extra energy, which is a wonderful benefit. You are also encouraged to install a smart thermostat. The smart thermostat is a precise device that optimizes your cooling system. Once you setup your preferences, cooling your home becomes an automated process that delivers additional energy-saving benefits.
For more information about calculating the energy efficiency of your current AC unit, contact us at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating to set up an appointment in San Antonio. Some the other services we offer are ductless AC systems, ductless systems, duct cleaning, duct repair, and indoor air quality assessments and solutions. We would enjoy telling you all about the ways we can professionally serve your home’s climate comfort needs.