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Buying An Air Conditioner? Consider The SEER Ratings, But Look At These Features Too

June 14, 2012 | Blog

Choosing the right air conditioner for your home may be one of the most complicated processes that you go through. In South Texas, we rely on this appliance much of the year to cool the air and remove the humidity in our homes. After you know the correct size, choosing the SEER rating, short for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the next decision to make.

The minimum SEER rating for air conditioners stands at 13, as mandated by the federal government. A variety of features can raise the SEER and help you stay more comfortable. along with lowering your electric bill. Consider these features that make summer more comfortable:

  • All SEER Numbers are NOT Considered Equal. Two different systems with the same SEER rating can give you vastly different actual comfort levels in your home.  Some systems achieve a higher SEER rating by reducing the amount of moisture removed from the air.  It takes less energy to drop temperature than it does to remove moisture so a system that removes less moisture can achieve a higher efficiency rating.  In our humid climate we need as much moisture removal as we can get.  So homeowners tend to turn the temperature down lower to try and stay comfortable.  This actually makes the energy consumption go up.  A good contractor will make sure your air conditioner is matched to get efficiency and humidity control.
  • Don’t Run your Fan on Continuous. Running the system fan in the continuous or on mode will circulate air more in the home, but will also reduce the dehumidification capacity of your air conditioner.
  • Choose a Good High Efficiency Media Type Filter.  A good filter will keep your air conditioner clean and working more efficiently for many years.  A media type MERV 10 or better filter is highly recommended.
  • A Two-Stage Compressor. These Air Conditioners automatically adjust their cooling capacity up or down depending on the load in the home.  On most days the air conditioner will operate on its lower capacity to handle the requirements of your home.  This low capacity stage is more efficient and gives longer run times to help remove more moisture from the air.  But you have to make sure the system is designed and installed properly to work as it should.

If you need a new air conditioner, contact CCAC, Inc. We can help you choose the right system for your home. Our name stands for Constantly Concerned About Customers and we provide HVAC services for the Coastal Bend.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating services Corpus Christi, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

Air Conditioner image via Shutterstock

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