If your current AC is outdated, you’ll likely have to upgrade to a newer unit soon. The refrigerant used in older units for the past 60 years, R22, is no longer available. And unfortunately, you can’t simply change one component of an old AC system. To comply with the Montreal Protocol’s ban on Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), you’ll need a newer system that uses R-410A refrigerant.
If you need to upgrade your AC unit, make sure to take advantage of incentives and rebates. There’s always some kind of monetary compensation available.
Contact us today to learn more about our AC services and how you can make your home more energy-efficient!
What Is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)?
The energy efficiency of a particular AC unit is indicated by its SEER rating. A SEER rating is a mathematically deduced ratio of an AC’s cooling output over a typical cooling season measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) divided by the total energy it uses measured in Watt-hours.
Modern units have SEER ratings ranging from 13–24. A higher numerical rating signifies a more energy-efficient unit. Comparatively, older units had SEER ratings around 9 or 10. Today, California has a minimum SEER requirement of 14; however, that number will be increased to 15 in 2023.
Keep in mind that SEER represents the unit’s maximum efficiency, and the actual efficiency depends on conditions. Staying on top of preventative maintenance is key to maximizing the unit’s energy efficiency and lifespan.
What Is Home Energy Rating System (HERS)?
A HERS rating is a measurement of your home’s energy efficiency. After an in-person evaluation, a home energy professional trained and certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) will provide you with a performance score. During their survey, the HERS professional examines your home’s construction and systems, including:
- Exterior walls
- Floors, ceilings, and roofs
- Attics, foundations, and crawl spaces
- Windows, doors, vents, and ductwork
- HVAC systems, water heating systems, and thermostat(s)
Unlike a SEER rating, a lower score indicates higher energy efficiency. Your home is evaluated against a standard new home, which has a HERS score of 100. A score of 70 indicates that a home is 30% more energy-efficient than a standard new home, while a score of 130 indicates it’s 30% less energy efficient.
The lower the HERS score of your home, the more energy savings you’ll accumulate. According to the Department of Energy, a home with a high HERS rating can save you anywhere from 5–30% on energy bills. Homes with scores of 80 or below typically have a higher resale value, are sold faster, and may even qualify for an energy-efficient mortgage. You can check out the RESNET website to learn more about the significance of specific scores or how to obtain an evaluation for your home.
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