Category Archives: Seer Ratings

SEER RATINGS AND NEW AIR CONDITIONING STANDARDS FOR 2015

Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the me 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 50% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

REDUCE ENERGY USE 20-50%

Proper sizing and installation are key elements in determining air conditioner efficiency. A unit that is too large will not adequately remove humidity. A unit that is too small will not be able to attain a comfortable temperature on the hottest days. Lack of insulation and improper unit and duct installation can greatly diminish efficiency.

What are SEER Ratings? 

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measure of system efficiency, which translates to how much it costs to operate and indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide specific cooling output. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. A SEER rating of 16 or higher with stepped capacity modulation is considered high efficiency and could save you over $400 per year versus an older lower efficiency system. Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. The minimum SEER allowed today is 13.

Central Air conditioners are rated according to their SEER rating. If you are thinking about purchasing a new air conditioner, look for a model with a high efficiency or look for the ENERGY STAR® label for central air conditioners with SEER ratings of 13 or greater. Also consider using air conditioning equipment with higher SEER ratings for greater savings.

Department of Energy (DOE)
Residential Central Air Conditioner Standards

New residential central air conditioner standards went into effect on January 23, 2006. Air conditioners manufactured after January 23, 2006 must achieve a SEER of 13 or higher. SEER 13 is 30% more efficient than the previous minimum SEER of 10. The standard only applies to appliances manufacture after January 23, 2006. Equipment with a rating less than SEER 13 manufactured before January 1, 2015 may still be sold and installed anywhere in the U.S. If you are in the North region, as specified by the DOE, you may continue to install SEER 13 AC systems even if they were manufactured after January 1, 2015. There is not yet a date for phasing out those units in the North. However, All heat pump systems built after January 1, 2015, must be at least a SEER 14.

If you are located in the South or Southwest DOE regions, you can only install SEER 13 units (AC or heat pump) built before January 1, 2015, and you can continue to do this until the 18-month grace period is over on June 30, 2016. After this date, everything in those regions must be SEER 14 irrespective of when it was built. Also, the Southwest region has an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) minimum in addition to the SEER minimum, so homeowners in the region will need to watch for the EER rating as well. It is not clear how the availability of SEER 13 units built before January 1, 2015 will play out, but there are certainly some in the channel for the 2015 cooling season. It is likely that this availability will drop significantly as we move closer to the June 30, 2016 date when they can no longer be used (except in the North).

The standards do not require you to change your existing central air conditioning units, and replacement parts and services are still available for your home’s system. The “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. Manufacturers typically continue to support existing equipment by making replacement parts available and honoring maintenance contracts.

Other features to look for when purchasing  an air conditioner 
  • A thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature rating (EER) greater than 11.6, for high-efficiency operation when the weather is the hottest
  • A variable speed handler for new ventilation systems
  • A unit that operates quietly
  • A fan-only switch, so you can use the unit for nighttime ventilation to substantially reduce air conditioning costs
  • A filter check light to remind you to change the filter after a predetermined number of operating hours
  • An automatic-delay fan switch to turn off the fan a few minutes after the compressor turns off

If you have an older central air conditioner, you might choose to replace the outdoor compressor with a modern, high efficiency unit. If you do so, consult a local heating and cooling contractor to assure that the new compressor is properly matched to the indoor unit. However, considering recent changes in refrigerant and air conditioning designs, it might be wiser to replace the entire system. (Read more about R-22 and R-410A Refrigerant)

For questions concerning your air conditioning unit, call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR at 970-667-0300 today. We have NATE-trained technicians and provide 24-hour emergency service. Ace Hi Plumbing services the Northern Colorado area including Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Longmont, Windsor, Greeley, and Estes Park.

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Goodman Air Conditioners – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING, & AIR

There are seven different types of air conditioners, with different ranges of energy efficiencies, that Goodman makes. Efficiency is measured by a standard call SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Goodman’s air conditioners can be stratified by this measurement.

13 AND 14 SEER

These come in two models each and are the simplest and least expensive that are made by Goodman.

The GSC13 uses R-22 refrigerant and the GSX13 uses R-410A Chlorine-Free Refrigerant. The latter substance is considered more environmentally friendly because it does not give off hydrochloro-fluorocarbon.

Both of these models feature sound-dampening elements: a particularly quiet fan and a specially designed top. They make noises of between 71 and 76 decibels.

The GSX14 and SSX14 have some of the same features as the GSX13, such as R410a refrigerant and they both come with a ten-year warranty.  They have high efficiency condenser coils, and faster motors to increase the speed and efficiency with which they cool a space. They also have an 850 RPM condenser fan motor.

16 SEER

The SSX16 is easier to service and has all of the same features and includes a sound-dampening foam condenser on top that allows it to operate more quietly. The DSXC16 has other additional features and is compatible with the ComforNet Communications System, which is easy to install and allows sophisticated monitoring of the heat flow in the device and the area.

There are also high- and low-pressure switches, a filter drier, and extra features for quiet operation on this model. To preserve its appearance over the years, even when exposed to air continually, there is a protective finish on top of its paint.

18 SEER

The top-of-the-line model is the DSXC18. This is Goodman’s most sophisticated and most efficient model. It uses a two-stage compressor, meaning it can run at a lower level when there is less cooling to be done and is quieter and requires less energy. This compressor is a high-performing Copeland Scroll UltraTech.

The air conditioner has temperature sensors for its coil and the surrounding area. It also includes indicator lights that alert the operator to errors, and simple-coded installation capability and only two (low-voltage) wires need to be run to the outdoor component.

The DSXC18 has a sound control top manufactured by Goodman and operates between 71 and 74 decibels. This is about the same as the simplest model.

SEER Ratings and What They Mean – ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR, INC.

SEER Ratings and What They Mean

SEER rating are the method used to describe the efficiency of a particular equipment system. SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio”. The systems purchased today typically range from 10.00 SEER to 18.00 SEER. If you have a home and the current system is 10-15 years old, you may have a system that ranges from 6.0 SEER to 10.00 SEER. Of course at the time it was installed, 10.00 SEER was considered “High Efficiency”. Today, with all the focus on conservation and energy savings, that “High Efficiency 10.00 SEER” from 10-15 years ago is growing obsolete.