Ben Franklin said it first: “a penny saved is a penny earned.” The same is true with your air conditioner.
ISN’T EFFICIENCY ALL ABOUT SEER RATING?
Much talk is made about SEER efficiency and truly today’s high–efficiency equipment is based on some amazing technology. A calculated investment in high-efficiency equipment will easily pay for itself over the life of the equipment. But in some cases, you can improve the efficiency of cooling your home by improving the energy efficiency of your home.
The primary function of your air conditioner is to remove heat and humidity that have come from outdoors. You can help their air conditioner do its job is by reducing the amount of heat and humidity that comes into the house in the first place.
HOW DO HEAT AND HUMIDITY GET INTO MY HOME?
Heat typically enters the home from four different directions:
- Windows and doors – Windows and doors should close tightly and should be well sealed with gaskets and weather stripping. A clue is if you see gray streaks of dust around a window or door, air (and dirt) is being drawn into the home. Your air conditioner is made to recirculate the air, and “new air” filled with heat and humidity, costs three times as much to condition as the air you recirculate.
- Ceilings – particularly on older homes, there may be only three or 4 inches of insulation in the attic. The new standard is at least six (r-19), and preferably 12 inches (r-31) insulation level. The heat that comes in from a roof during the summer is a significant part of your cooling costs and good insulation is nearly always a good investment.
- Walls – it is difficult to make change walls without major demolition. However, a dark wall heated by the sun can be cooled by painting at a lighter color, and by planting a shade tree. If you feel heat radiating into the room from an exterior wall of your home, it is time to think about making some changes.
- Appliances – Energy-efficient appliances are a good investment because they cost less to run. As a rule, they also put less heat into the home. This includes energy-efficient lighting. Ceiling fans generate a small amount of heat and should be turned off when the room is not in use. Fans do not cool a room but make it feel cooler when you are there to experience the movement of air caused by the fan. When you pay to run an appliance, you also pay to remove the heat that appliance generated.
HOW DO I KNOW THE SIZE AND EFFICIENCY THAT IS BEST FOR MY HOME?
If you have made significant changes to your home, such as adding insulation or changing windows, the energy savings may be great enough that you can cool your home with a smaller air conditioner. Your Comfort Advisor can help by making the necessary calculations to advise you concerning that decision.
When purchasing an air conditioner, the qualified professionals at Complete Comfort can help you decide the equipment size and efficiency that will work best in your home. We recommend you become a Comfort Club Member to keep your system in tip-top condition, and operating at peak efficiency. Membership is designed to give you front-of-the-line service, at our best price. An appropriately scheduled maintenance program will extend the life of your system and will help you efficiently cool and heat your home.