Shopping for a new air conditioner can feel stressful if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Not all AC systems are created equal. Therefore, it’s imperative that you perform your research to pick the perfect unit for your home. Read on to learn what you should consider when shopping for a new AC system for your Sebastian, Florida, home.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

When you’re shopping for a new air conditioner, you’ll come across many numbers. Every AC system has one number that you should pay particular attention to though: the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. An HVAC system accounts for nearly half of your home’s energy consumption. Choosing an air conditioner with the right SEER will help maximize efficiency.

What’s a SEER?

An air conditioner’s SEER measures the ratio of cooling capacity to the power input. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioning system. That’s because air conditioners with higher SEER ratings offer more cooling capacity for the same dollar amount of energy than those with lower SEER ratings. The Environmental Protection Agency’s standards require all AC systems manufactured after January 1, 2015, to have a minimum rating of 14 SEER.

How Do I Find the SEER?

There’s an EnergyGuide label on every air conditioner where homeowners can determine a unit’s SEER rating. You’ll find it prominently displayed, and it’ll include a range that compares it to other air conditioning systems. The Department of Energy offers online energy efficiency calculators to help you predict how much money you’ll save on energy costs with AC systems offering different SEER ratings.

Which System and SEER are Best for Me?

Conventional duct HVAC systems can have a SEER as high as 22. Ductless mini-splits and geothermal systems, which both operate at a higher efficiency, can have a SEER in the 30s. Not every living space requires an air conditioner with the highest SEER, though, and a lot of your decision depends on your budget and specific comfort needs.

For example, an AC system with a SEER of 15 costs an average of $1,000 more than a unit with a SEER of 14. AC systems with a SEER of 17 cost $1,800 more. Consider hiring a professional HVAC contractor to perform a cooling load calculation in your home to help you determine which type of AC system and SEER you need in order to maximize savings.

Types of Cooling Systems to Choose From

There are three main types of cooling systems, including:

  • Central air conditioners: These systems are the most common type, and they’re efficient at cooling an entire home. If you have issues with indoor air quality, you can also invest in numerous HVAC add-ons for your central air system, including air purifiers. One major limitation of central air conditioners is that you’ll likely cool empty rooms in your home, which leads to energy waste.
  • Ductless mini-splits: If you’re adding a new addition to your home, a ductless mini-split will help you keep that space cool. Extending ductwork can be expensive. Ductless mini-splits are versatile cooling systems that don’t require ducts. You can use one to cool a small living space or install multiple units to create zones. Since they don’t need ducts, you also avoid wasting energy to leaks.
  • Heat pumps: The system’s name doesn’t suggest it, but heat pumps have the capacity to cool your home. If you need a cooling and heating solution in one unit, a heat pump is a great choice. Instead of generating heat, heat pumps move it from one place to another. In the summer, a heat pump can move heat out of your home to make it feel cooler. As a result, it’s highly energy efficient.

Seek Professional Help to Pick the Right System

Barker Air Conditioning and Heating carries and installs air conditioners for every size of home. To schedule a free estimate on a new air conditioner installation, contact us today at 772-589-9899. We’ll make sure your new AC system cools your living space in the most cost-effective way possible.

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