Understanding A/C Efficiency Ratings
While the sticker price tells you how much it will cost to purchase an air conditioner, A/C efficiency ratings give you a good idea of how much it will cost to actually operate it. Since the typical new central air conditioner today can be expected to last about 15 years, energy efficiency is critical information. The monthly bills you pay over that extended time span will be a direct reflection of how little — or how much — electricity the unit consumes to keep your home comfortable.
Fortunately, determining the most energy-efficient unit for the best price isn’t a guessing game. A/C efficiency ratings are required by the Department of Energy and are shown on the yellow EnergyGuide sticker on every new air conditioner. Look for the SEER rating to rank air conditioners by efficiency.
- SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s the primary efficiency rating for central air conditioners.
- SEER is a numeral that represents the quantity of BTUs of heat energy removed from your home per hour in ratio to the amount of electricity in kilowatt hours consumed at the same time.
- The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner will be and the lower your operating costs will generally be.
- Today, in northern regions like Cincinnati, the federally-mandated minimum SEER rating is 13. However, more advanced units (with a higher sticker price) are available with A/C efficiency ratings as high as the mid-20s.
Remember that A/C efficiency ratings are calculated based on tests in laboratory conditions. If you don’t live in a laboratory, other issues also impact the overall efficiency of any new air conditioner. These include the amount and quality of insulation in the house, condition of the ductwork and how airtight the structure is to prevent heat infiltration. Another factor is professional installation: A new air conditioner should always be installed by a qualified contractor in compliance with industry standards published by the Air Conditioner Contractors of America.
For more info about A/C efficiency ratings and how to select the most efficient unit for your home, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electric and Plumbing.
"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.