Are you hoping to save money by maximizing your A/C SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio)? Although reading the energy labels and selecting a high-efficiency cooling system is smart, it’s important to understand that the installation and maintenance of your equipment can affect performance levels.
Here’s a quick guide to ensuring that you get the most value from your air conditioner.
A/C SEER ratings are determined under controlled lab settings. When actually installed in the field, however, certain conditions may affect the overall performance rating. Such variables as weather cannot be controlled, but there are four factors that your contractor can manipulate to ensure high efficiency.
- Airflow — When airflow is inadequate, the desired temperature change can’t occur across the evaporator coil. This reduces comfort and efficiency. Insist that your technician measures airflow and makes any adjustments at the time of installation.
- Refrigerant charge — When it comes to refrigerant charge, make sure that your HVAC professional follows manufacturer specifications to the letter. Even slight variations can significantly reduce SEER ratings.
- Ductwork — Your contractor should evaluate your ductwork before installation to ensure that it’s compatible with your equipment and to check for leaks. Leaky ducts can cause discomfort, uneven cooling and serious losses in system capacity.
- Size — Professional load calculations to size your equipment are a must. This makes certain that your equipment will be fitted to your cooling and dehumidification needs and will run as efficiently as possible.
- Maintenance factors
To keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, you must schedule annual maintenance. During A/C tuneups, your technician should:
- Measure airflow and make any needed adjustments — Poor airflow could be due to restrictive ducts, leaky ducts or a mismatched air handler.
- Verify refrigerant charge — A low charge could indicate a leak that could potentially lead to a system breakdown.
- If you believe that your energy bills are higher than usual, it’s smart to request a duct inspection.
For more advice on optimizing your A/C SEER, contact us at All Temp. We’re proud to serve residents of Charlotte, Harrisburg and surrounding areas.