Well, the air conditioner at your Atlanta-area home had a good run, but now you need to replace it. However, you’re not quite sure where to start by purchasing a new one. One important factor to consider is the air conditioner’s SEER rating. It affects how high or low your electric bills will be. We’ll explain why in this blog post and give you tools for determining what SEER your new air conditioner should be.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, and it tells you how efficiently the air conditioner cools your home compared to other air conditioners. Think of it as the miles per gallon (MPG) of an air conditioner (I.E., the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient it will be and therefore the more money you’ll save through lower electric bills.) The range for SEER ratings is 13 to 28.

What should my new air conditioner’s SEER rating be?

Well, like most things in life, it depends on your individual circumstances. An air conditioner with a higher SEER rating is more expensive, so it may not make sense to get the most energy efficient model. To find the right SEER for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long do you plan to live in your current home? (The average life expectancy of a central air conditioning system ranges from 6 to 17 years, depending on the quality of the installation and the frequency and quality of the routine maintenance performed. So, to get a full return on an expensive air conditioner, you’d want to live in your home for a good portion of that time.)
  • What’s your budget?
  • How much do you value energy efficiency and saving money on monthly utility cost?
  • Will the energy savings offset the price difference?

SEER is just one factor

While the SEER plays a major role in your new system’s energy efficiency, you need to consider other important factors like:

  • Size – An air conditioner’s cooling ability (measured in tonnage or BTUs) is directly related to its size. An air conditioner that is too small can’t provide the cooling you need and will run constantly. One that’s too big will turn on and off often. Both situations increase your electric bills.
  • Home issues – Leaky ducts, inadequate insulation and a poorly sealed home exterior will all negatively impact your electric bill.
  • Installation quality – According to Energy Star, 27% of the energy you spend on cooling your home is wasted due to poor installation. Find a contractor you can trust to install yours.

At Ragsdale Heating, Air & Plumbing, we want to help you find an air conditioner that fits your Atlanta area home’s needs and your budget. And we hire only the best to make sure your air conditioner is properly sized and installed correctly.

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