Are you still running that air conditioner with R-22 ozone depleting refrigerant? If your air conditioner is over 20 years old, it is time for an upgrade!
We all want to be green, right, but how do you balance energy savings against initial cost?
Air conditioner efficiency is measure by what they call a SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. SEER is measured as the cost per lb. BTU of cooling compared with the energy (in watt-hours) consumed to achieve that lb. BTU of cooling. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your air conditioner will be. So it only makes sense to buy the most efficient air conditioner, right? Not so fast! A major factor in your decision making rests on the frequency of which you use your air conditioner versus the initial cost of a higher efficient air conditioner.
Let’s consider someone who lives in Northern Wisconsin, for example. The outdoor conditions in this climate may only warrant intermittent usage of you air conditioning system during the months of June, July and August, where as someone who resides in Arizona, may require cooling 9-10 months of the year. Speaking for myself, I would certainly weigh the cost of a higher SEER rating against the initial cost of a new air conditioner based on where I live. The payback is much more appealing on a 22 SEER Air Conditioner if in a warmer climate, where a 12 SEER air conditioner will operate very well, without the high initial cost if living in a cooler climate.
Whichever you decide, make sure you do your homework, as people often needlessly overspend on a replacement air conditioning unit.
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