Most people are unaware that every air conditioning unit has what is known as a seasonal energy efficient ratio (SEER) number. As these home energy tips explain, this number is important when it comes to determining the efficiency of your unit. Now, the SEER
number is not a crystal ball that will show you how far into the future your air conditioner will last, nor is it used to determine if your air conditioner can sense if your house needs additional cooling. It does, however, inform you of the relative amount of energy needed to cool your house to a certain level.
Many older units have SEER numbers of 6 or less, but today’s standards require a minimum rating of 13 or higher. The higher the SEER number, the greater the savings to the homeowner, and we are fairly confident that the average homeowners love to hear they will save money, no matter what the reason. Of course, if you have a unit with a lower SEER number, no one is going to bust in, take it away from you, and insist that you replace it with a unit that has a better SEER rating. However, one of the best home energy tips we can give you is the fact that there are incentives for upgrading to a unit with a higher SEER number.
The federal government is offering a nice tax credit to those who install new central air conditioning units, especially units that have low SEER numbers. Tax credits of up to $300 on new units are available to homeowners until December 31, 2013. An HVAC contractor can inform you if the unit qualifies for the tax credit, so another of our great home energy tips is to choose a unit that qualifies. Not only will you receive a $300 tax credit, but you will also keep some money in your pocket as you enjoy lower energy bills. An added bonus: having an efficient air conditioner in place dramatically reduces the likelihood you’ll have to endure Uncle Henry prancing around your house in his Speedo this summer as he seeks relief from the heat.
Regulations regarding SEER numbers went into effect on January 23, 2006, with units being manufactured after that date requiring the higher SEER number. The previous minimum was a SEER of 10, and research from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that a SEER of 13 is 30 percent more efficient than the previous minimum. However, the standard only applies to those units manufactured after the regulation went into effect, so models manufactured before that date could still be installed. As one of our important home energy tips, be sure that you choose an experienced, reputable contractor who will not attempt to install an older model HVAC unit in your home that does not have the regulation SEER number.
For more information on the SEER number on your equipment, or to learn more about tax credits and the money you can save on energy bills by replacing your old unit, contact Spencer Air Conditioning today at (972) 375-9937. You can also learn more home energy tips by visiting us online.