Just because an air conditioner sports a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) doesn’t necessarily mean your high-SEER A/C will perform as well as its rating. In fact, your HVAC technician’s ability to properly install and maintain your new equipment is imperative if you hope to boost your home comfort while reducing your utility bills. Here’s why:
Your new A/C’s SEER can vary
SEER numbers – intended to show how well your A/C converts electricity into cooling – are assigned under controlled lab conditions. When an air conditioner is installed in a real-world setting, however, the performance levels can be affected by multiple factors. Some variables such as the climate cannot be changed. However, there are four factors that should be addressed by your contractor in order to maximize your system’s SEER:
- Airflow – When airflow is inadequate, the desired temperature change cannot occur across the evaporator coil. This lowers comfort levels, and can reduce the air conditioner’s SEER. Your technician should always measure airflow at the time of installation, as well as during annual A/C tuneups. Any necessary adjustments should be made promptly.
- Refrigerant charge – Too often, an air conditioner’s refrigerant is either undercharged or overcharged, negatively affecting the system’s performance. During installation, your contractor should follow manufacturer specifications to the letter. Like airflow, refrigerant charge should be verified during preventive maintenance. Any leaks or other issues should be addressed quickly to avoid losses in system capacity or expensive repairs.
- Duct evaluation – Before installing a new A/C, your HVAC professional should inspect your ductwork. This ensures that your duct design is compatible with specific cooling systems. Additionally, your ductwork should be evaluated for leaks. Leaky ducts can reduce airflow, waste energy, and force your cooling system to work harder to compensate.
- Equipment sizing – Never invest in an air conditioner without having a load calculation done in order to properly size your new system. This likely will be done with Manual J, the industry standard for calculating a home’s cooling or heating load. This helps your contractor match you with a system that will keep you cool and comfortable while operating at maximum efficiency.
To schedule installations and maintenance that guarantee your high-SEER A/C delivers on its rating, contact the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We offer home comfort services to residents of the greater Indianapolis area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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