If you’ve been shopping around for a new air conditioner, you’ve likely heard about SEER, which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It measures how much energy is required for cooling over a typical cooling season. Your old unit may have a rating as low as 6. Current units are required to have a SEER rating of at least 13, and many now have much higher ratings. In Florida, where air conditioning often runs for most of the year, choose the highest rating that you can afford for maximum energy efficiency.

A high rating doesn’t guarantee that your system will actually deliver at that level, however. Factors in the home – such as poor insulation and ductwork – can have a negative impact. So can improper air conditioner installation. In fact, a poor installation can result in an A/C performing significantly lower than its rated SEER.

During an air conditioner installation, your technician should make sure that the system has the right airflow and refrigerant charge, and is sized properly and has compatible ductwork.

Airflow is affected by ducts that are too small or inefficient and by grilles that are defective, poorly designed or obstructed. An  air handler that’s too small or large for the other equipment is another cause of poor airflow. Poor airflow can increase energy use by an average of 10 percent

Refrigerant charge is another factor that can reduce SEER. Studies show that most systems are either undercharged or overcharged. To get the right charge, it’s important to have an accurate measure of the line set.

Ductwork has a major impact on energy efficiency. Old ducts often leak, letting air out before it can cool your home. If the ducts aren’t insulated, they’ll allow heat transfer when run through unconditioned areas. A technician can improve ductwork by sealing leaks and making sure the sections are tightly sealed and well insulated.

Finally, the size of your new air conditioner can greatly affect efficiency. Too small a unit won’t cool properly, while one that’s too large will have shorter and less efficient run times.

With 20 years experience and highly trained technicians, Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. can ensure your new A/C delivers on its SEER rating. Call us today for a thorough inspection and air conditioner installation in your Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater home.

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