In the summer, air conditioning may account for the largest portion of your home energy bill. When you decide to replace your old central air system, investing in an energy efficient system will dramatically lower your cooling costs.
What to look for:
- An efficient central air system with high energy efficiency ratings. A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 is the industry standard. Units with higher ratings of 16 and an Energy Efficient Ratio (EER) of 13 are more efficient and cost less to run.
- The yellow EnergyGuide label. This helps you compare specific models.
What to look for in a qualified contractor:
Many problems that occur with a new central air system may be caused by improper sizing or installation. To choose the right size systems for your home, your contractor should consult current industry standards. Sizing should be determined by the square footage of your home or the size of your current system. For advice on finding and choosing a contractor, visit www.energystar.gov.
Good to know:
Before you replace your system, think about air sealing and improving insulation in your home. This will reduce your required cooling load and help any air conditioner run more efficiently.