Having your air conditioner condenser cleaned annually is an important step for preventative maintenance. A dirty condenser can cause you to lose up to 1 SEER rating every year.
Wait…What? What the heck is a SEER rating? When you’re in the heating and cooling business, industry terms become a normal part of your vernacular. For those of you who just want to save money and understand what the heck we’re talking about, here’s a quick explanation:
What is a SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Your heating and cooling system’s performance is determined to a large degree by the operating efficiency of your HVAC unit.
So, how exactly does a system get it’s SEER?
- Your system is made up of two pieces: The outdoor compressor unit plus your indoor unit. These are tested (for how well they work as a whole) and awarded an Energy Efficiency Rating, which is similar to a mpg (miles per gallon) rating on your vehicle.
- The SEER rating is determined by measuring the amount of cold air your system puts out for every unit of energy it consumes. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy it will consume. A high SEER rating means a low utility bill every month. This is why you’ll see two homes that are basically the same (with the same square footage, same amount of insulation, and same basic usage), but one utility bill will be much higher than another.
- A higher SEER rating also means less of an impact on the environment.
The SEER rating is so important to the environment that in 2006 the federal government ruled that all new central air conditioning equipment must be at a SEER 13 as a minimum rating. Keep in mind, this is just a minimum. Heating and cooling units are available with as high as a SEER 23 rating.
So, what’s recommended? We advise all our customers to install a system with at least a 16 SEER rating, especially when we’re talking about St. Petersburg air conditioning! We all know that a $300 or higher utility bill in the heat of the summer is not out of the question, but it doesn’t have to be the norm.
What Kind of Savings Are We Talking About?
As a homeowner here in St. Petersburg, installing an A/C unit with a 16 or higher SEER can save as much as $2,075 in operating costs over the lifetime of the unit. For those who are interested in reducing your carbon footprint, this equals out to removing three cars from the road each year (or planting four acres of forest). That’s pretty exciting!
Now that we’ve deciphered the SEER for you, you’ll be better able to actually reduce your next utility bill. Have your condenser cleaned annually, and if you’re close to replacing your heating and cooling system, the magic number is 16.
To schedule a condenser cleaning or to inquire about our maintenance plans, give us a call today.