An A/C’s SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is an excellent tool homeowners can use to compare the relative efficiency of various air conditioners and heat pumps. Choosing a system with a high SEER number is a good start, but in order to maximize efficiency and comfort, proper installation and other factors are also crucial. To be sure you’ll actually reach the energy efficiency your new air conditioning system is capable of:
- Ensure proper installation – Hire an expert HVAC contractor to install your equipment. If possible, consult your contractor before choosing an A/C for your home. Only properly sized cooling equipment will provide the home comfort and utility savings you’re looking for. Don’t make the mistake of simply buying the same size system as your existing one. A home’s cooling needs often decrease over time due to added insulation and air sealing, as well as upgrades to doors and windows.
- Ensure detailed load calculations are done – An experienced contractor uses complex, exacting calculations and measurements to determine the air conditioning capacity you require, also called the cooling load. A system that’s too large (or too small) will make reaching the A/C’s rated SEER impossible.
- Evaluate airflow – Your contractor should check the rate of airflow. If it isn’t adequate, your A/C’s SEER is at risk. Airflow issues decrease home air quality and can make some rooms stuffy while others are freezing.
- Ensure ducts are adequate – Your contractor should check that ductwork is large enough for the new cooling system, adding registers, grilles or jumper ducts to balance airflow. Sealing ductwork will minimize or eliminate energy loss/leakage.
- Ensure correct refrigerant charge – To reach the A/C’s SEER, refrigerant pressure must conform to manufacturer specifications. A trained HVAC professional must measure and make precise adjustments without releasing harmful refrigerant into the air.
At Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning, we’re happy to answer questions about maximizing an A/C’s SEER in your Fresno area home. We provide full HVAC services from system and duct design through installation, maintenance and future repairs. Visit our website to learn more or contact us.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about SEER ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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