Energy Efficiency & SEER Rating: A Guide
Stressing Over Energy Bills? Welcome to Houston
A commonality among Houstonians is that no matter if you are rich or poor, no matter your ethnicity or religion, we all feel the heat. It is ingrained into our very lifestyles and the fabric of this city.
In fact, the entire state of Texas leads the United States according to some studies in producing electricity and even produces about twice as much as the U.S.’s second-highest producer, Florida.
While it may be comforting to know that this statistic is inflated primarily due to the illustrious industrial sectors this city contains, the fact remains that due to our intense climate and extended summer seasons, energy usage in this part of the country is a major concern for homeowners and businesses alike.
Increased environmental obstacles add up against our residential and commercial HVAC systems and their constant operations show up every month in the form of an electric bill and while it may not seem like a lot to pay a couple of dollars a day for the comfort you receive in your home, it can surely add up, even with the comparatively low per/wattage costs available throughout Texas. This all leads to a collective idea:
How do I lower my energy usage and costs that are caused by my air conditioning system?
Together we can walk you through tips, tricks, and provide an overall view as to how air conditioners can work to provide your home or business with the modern comfort that they deserve, all without destroying your bank account.
SEER Ratings…What Are Those Anyways?
Lowering the costs of your monthly energy bill can be accomplished in many ways and we highly recommend helping your residential HVAC or commercial HVAC systems in any method that is responsible and efficient; however, one of the most overlooked methods of assisting your air conditioner with its energy usage and ensuring that your AC is producing a top-tier product is to ensure your air conditioning unit has acquired a competent SEER rating. Which may make some of you wonder exactly what SEER ratings are.
If you’ve been following our blog for some time now, then you may remember our previously published piece on SEER ratings and how they can help your home or business, but just in case, here’s a brief summarization of what SEER ratings are and how they help save you money on electric bills.
Your residential HVAC or commercial HVAC unit’s SEER rating is the rating that indicates exactly how much energy your unit can help save you from using. In other words, a rating on how efficiently your air conditioner uses energy.
As technology and awareness have grown throughout our world, standards for energy usage have been put into place and monitored as time progresses. Standards that were once acceptable of a SEER rating simply would not pass the criteria needed to function in the modern world.
HVAC units that were routinely rated to be at 9 have found themselves inadequate in today’s world, where modern advances have pushed air conditioning technology to produce a new threshold of a rating of 13 as the bare minimum. Residential homes that are looking to truly lower costs and reduce their carbon footprint should consider residential HVAC units that are rated higher with a target goal of around 16 being ideal.
Commercial HVAC units entertain entirely different energy issues than the majority of residential HVAC units and should, therefore, look for a higher rated AC unit that is capable of reaching beyond a rating of 16 to a possible 20 or beyond.
It is important to take note that while these SEER ratings provide us with an accurate measure to determine which units perform more efficiently than others, it doesn’t mean that a home or business owner should rush to acquire the absolute highest SEER rated HVAC unit. These air conditioners are tested to provide clarity but are also tested in the most pristine, ideal conditions.
The last thing you would want to do when making decisions to save yourself money is to overspend on a unit that boasts a 20 SEER rating but in your home would never be capable of reaching those heights because of the HVAC’s overall setup and the conditions in which it must perform. Speaking with a licensed, professional HVAC technician can help you find the ideal SEER rating for your home or business.
Additional Ways to Assist Energy Efficiency and the Benefits of Doing So
SEER ratings are a great beginning to the road of energy efficiency and a reduction in not only overall usage, but also the costs associated with maintaining that usage. Reducing your energy usage has many considerable benefits for everyone involved. Of course, lowering the energy usage of your residential HVAC unit or commercial HVAC unit will help save your home or business money on their respective energy bills, but if we look deeper, you can see there are many ways that energy-efficient air conditioners can help us improve our bottom line and our overall quality of life.money:
- Reduced usage will create a longer life cycle for your unit. Air conditioners that use less energy will create less overall stress on their HVAC units and help their life span over the various years. Longer life cycles equal lower overall costs associated with maintaining your home or business’s indoor environment.
- Properly installed insulation keeps heat out while keeping cool air in. Having a quality installation done for your building’s insulation can make or break how effectively an AC unit can maintain your home’s temperature. Insulation helps protect the structure from the outdoor elements which help trap cool air from escaping. Furthermore, your HVAC unit has an incredibly overlooked responsibility of controlling the humidity within your home or business and maintain the quality of air within a structure. Reducing unwanted airborne guests such as mold due to a reduction of moisture is one of the lesser-known points of coordination in which your air conditioner and insulation work together to protect you against.
- Clean what you can and leave the rest to the professionals. Dusting your home regularly, especially if you have pets, is a great way to reduce allergens and create a healthier home. Changing air filters monthly should be the minimal standard and in doing so, you’ll notice an improved product being produced from your air conditioner. Cleaner air is better air. Periodic air duct cleaning and potentially air duct replacement are other great ways to maximize your air quality and reduce the stress on your HVAC unit. The less stress, the longer your AC survives the harsh southern climate, and the cooler, cleaner your air will be. It’s also important to remember the outdoors. Clearing any debris from your unit’s outdoor components and also checking to ensure there is no damage to any of the machinery are great ways to help protect from unnecessary strains on your AC unit. The key here is to not get in over your head. Scheduling professionals to perform routine maintenance as part of a service plan can help you stay on top of any unsightly damage, broken components, and give a trained technician time to look at the mechanical areas of your air conditioner in greater detail.
As we can see, keeping up with some of the most elementary, routine chores we already implement into our lives, can help us reduce our energy bills and maintain the life expectancy of our air conditioning units.
A step further, and we can see that by continuing to reduce the energy used to power AC units, the better overall world we can create. Studies show that air conditioning can contribute to just about 40% of a structure’s overall energy consumption.
Combine that statistic with the fact that air conditioning in the United States, according to The U.S. Energy Information Administration, contributes on average to 12% of a household’s total yearly expenses. Here in Northeast Houston, Texas, that average is actually raised to a whopping 27%!
Energy-efficient air conditioning units and the innovation that drives them will continue to play an important part in reducing our energy bills and lessening some of the impacts we as humans put upon this planet we call home.
Brands You Can Trust and the Experts to Execute
We have covered the importance of energy efficiency, taken a look closer at some of the many benefits homes and businesses receive from creating an energy-efficient environment, and the ultimate reasons one should consider higher SEER rated units and what they mean, where do you begin?
There are many brands out there to choose from and even more, technicians to choose from, how do you know what to look for in a company and which air conditioning unit to choose for the job at hand?
Look no further, as you can find both with the Humble area’s finest HVAC technicians near you at Cruz Air & Electric. Over the years, 35 and still counting, Robert Cruz and his team of licensed, knowledgeable technicians have had the privilege of servicing over 30,000 satisfied customers throughout the Northeastern Houston market.
Our work and expertise are at the top of our fields which is why we are proud to offer and service Trane air conditioning products as at certified Trane Comfort Specialist. Trane is a consistent leader in the world of HVAC and it has been so for over 100 years. Trane residential HVAC and commercial HVAC units are all equipped to meet or exceed minimal SEER ratings and have a great track record of leading the industry’s overall SEER ratings. If you’re looking to upgrade, repair, or replace your AC, contact us today at (281) 446-4272 for an estimate that is custom-tailored to your energy efficiency and HVAC needs.