Why Are SEER Ratings Important for HVAC Equipment?

Do you know the SEER ratings for your furnace or AC equipment? If you recently bought a new furnace or AC unit, this number was one of the specifications listed and should have been a consideration on which unit you purchased. Seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER is a rating on how well heating or cooling equipment can perform under optimal conditions. Here are some reasons why this rating is important and how it can impact your heating and cooling costs.

What is SEER?

Basically, the SEER number listed for your HVAC equipment is a calculation of the output of the unit versus the energy used during a set period. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. The newer units have SEER ratings of 13/14 or above, while units made decades ago started life at much lower efficiency.

Does SEER Change with Time?

The older your HVAC equipment gets, the less efficient it can become. The SEER rating is the optimal efficiency level. As components wear out, your HVAC system can perform less efficiently. You may notice your energy bills rising and believe it is just a change in energy costs. That may or may not be true; it could be that your HVAC system is no longer performing as efficiently.

Energy Savings with High SEER Equipment

Upgrading from a 10-14 SEER AC unit to a 16+ SEER can make a big difference in both energy efficiency and comfort. Your AC unit will have to work less to achieve the same level of climate control. While a SEER of 13 is the minimum, anything above 16 is considered high-efficiency.

If it is time to replace any of your HVAC equipment, make sure you talk to your HVAC pros about SEER ratings and what level is best for your home. It can help reduce energy costs and improve the overall performance of your HVAC system.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

Benefits of Replacing AC and Furnace Together

Your air conditioning unit and furnace work together for climate control in your home, but they are still separate systems. It is likely that one will wear out before the other if they were installed at the same time, most likely the AC unit as AC units tend to have a shorter lifespan than furnaces. However, replacing one without replacing the other can cause issues for efficiency and impact overall costs. Here are some benefits of replacing both at the same time.

Cohesive System for Efficiency

Replacing both AC and furnace at the same time gives you a chance to match the systems for the best efficiency. Your HVAC professional can help you find a AC and furnace that use the same air handler, reducing the equipment needed and costs. Plus, matched systems are designed to work together for efficiency, giving you lower energy bills year-round.

Newer Technology

If one system needs replacement, it is a good time to upgrade to newer technology for lower energy costs and convenience. However, you will not receive the full benefits if you have an older furnace or AC unit impacting the new system.

Save on Installation

It costs more to install two systems separately then together. Even if your furnace may have a few years left in it when it is time to replace your AC, it can save you money to do it at the same time. You can either repair your AC to extend its life a little longer or replace your furnace sooner to a more efficient system.

When one half of your HVAC system needs replacing, it is wise to consider the benefits of replacing both together. Discuss your options with your local HVAC professional.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

What Does SEER Rating Mean?

Are you looking at new AC units and noticing SEER ratings listed? This is one of the factors that is often listed as a benefit on AC units, but if you do not know what it means, it doesn’t help you decide on which model is right for you. Here is some basic information on this measurement and what it means in terms of energy efficiency and cooling your home.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating

Although it is often referred to as a SEER rating, the acronym SEER already uses the word “rating” as it stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Although the term SEER rating is redundant, it is one of the factors what you want to look for when choosing a new AC unit for your home.

Most older AC units that are currently installed in homes have SEER ratings of less than 10. New models have at least 13-14, which is a big difference in energy savings. SEER ratings can go up to 21 or higher, with improved efficiency at each level. However, the higher the rating, the more expensive the AC unit is likely to be. While you want a new AC unit that will save you money on energy costs, you need to calculate whether it is worth the extra initial investment. In warmer regions it may be – but keep in mind that SEER ratings are the maximum a unit will get, not the minimum.

When it comes time to buy a new HVAC unit for your home, talk to an HVAC professional about the importance of SEER ratings. Having an energy analysis done in your home can give you a better idea of what level of SEER would be best for your use and help you get the right model for your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Old Furnace Plus New Air Conditioning Equals Lower Efficiency

Most air conditioning systems work in tandem with a furnace, with the blower motor of the furnace doing dual duty in both the summer and the winter. However, it’s not uncommon for a homeowner may replace their air conditioning system with a new, more efficient model while leaving the old furnace in place. What they may not realize is that their new air conditioning system, even one with a high SEER rating, cannot provide optimal energy savings while attached to an older, inefficient furnace. 

Understanding The SEER Rating

When purchasing a new central air conditioning unit, one of the most important factors is the SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal efficiency energy ratio. This rating is based on the cooling output and the energy input, with the higher the number representing larger energy savings. Newer models, especially those manufactured after 2006, have higher SEER ratings along with substantially increased efficiency. However, to realize this efficiency, it must be attached to an efficient blower motor. 

Anyone who is replacing their air conditioning system should also be ensuring that their furnace can meet the efficiency needs of their new unit. Most furnaces that are 15 years or older are less likely to be able to perform at peak efficiency. A new air conditioner connected to an older furnace will not necessarily be able to perform at the SEER rating advertised. 

In many cases, the furnace and air conditioning should be replaced at the same time to ensure the maximum amount of efficiency. Having one system which is older can detract from the energy efficiency of the other. Before replacing only the air conditioning system, make sure to have your HVAC professional inspect your furnace to ensure that it can meet the efficiency requirements of your new system.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Saving Money on Heating and Cooling

Keeping your home comfortable throughout the year without breaking the bank is a common goal for most homeowners. After all, you want to be warm in winter and cool during the summer, and you don’t want to spend a fortune to keep up with the energy bills. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce energy waste, saving money each month while reducing the impact that your home has on the greater environment.

First, consider having the efficiency of your HVAC system analyzed by a licensed professional. An experienced contractor will be able to inspect your system, looking for any areas where a bit of HVAC maintenance or minor repairs will increase efficiency. Remember that less waste means lower bills, but it also means that you’re reducing the carbon footprint of your home.

After a full audit of your HVAC system, it’s time to start making a series of small changes that will, collectively, have a big impact. Make sure that your filters are changed or cleaned regularly. Dirty or clogged filters force your system to work harder, thus costing you more in terms of energy usage. Adjust thermostat settings when you’re away from home, or invest in a programmable thermostat that will do the work for you. Repair any damaged or worn weather stripping to prevent air leakage.

Working closely with a seasoned HVAC professional will help you to find myriad ways in which you can reduce both your usage and your bills without sacrificing comfort. Call an HVAC contractor in your area to discuss your options and find solutions that will work for your unique household.

Posted on behalf James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Is My Single Zone System Inferior To A Two Zone System?

Most homes in the Unites States will have either one or two HVAC systems, while some very large homes will have three or systems.  A system includes an indoor air unit as well as a condenser, which is located on the exterior of the home.  The number of systems depends upon several factors including the size of the home and the layout.  

A qualified HVAC contractor will make a series of calculations to determine the heating and cooling load on the home, while looking at the insulation, windows and doors, which factor into the heat gain and loss.  The results of these calculations, as well as the requirements of the building and mechanical code, will determine the size of the system.  Once the size is determined, the HVAC contractor will then determine if a one or two zone system will be required, based upon the load and the layout of the home.  Often, while it is possible to use a single system based upon the heating and cooling load, the layout of the home, as well as the structural design, prevents the HVAC contractor from providing heating and cooling to all parts of the house. 

The HVAC contractor will install the most efficient system in your home to meet the heating and cooling needs.  This design will be the most economical to install as well as the most economically to operate.  As a homeowner, there is not need to worry that a single zone system is inferior to a two zone system!

What Does HVAC Stand For and How Are They Related?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning is a system design of technology based on the mechanical engineering discipline and principles far beyond the understanding of us typical homeowner consumers. So let’s skip the technical mumbo-jumbo; this is not an engineering or physics classroom.

What is important to know is that it is all about developing an adequate system for your particular space (home, office, car) that will provide the most effective indoor environmental comfort. A product of the industrial revolution, HVAC systems are continuously reviewed and reworked, ever striving for greater effectiveness and energy efficiency.

The design of the HVAC system is critical because building conditions are regulated to provide us with fresh outdoor air that is safe and healthy. Simply put, it is a means of providing and removing air delivery from enclosed spaces.

While the terms “heating” and “air conditioning” appear to be self-explanatory in their definitions, primary health concerns can result from their operation without the coexistence of proper ventilation. It is easy to see that these three functions are interrelated. Ventilation is the process of circulating air within a building and exchanging it with outside air. An acceptable HVAC system should be designed to “maintain” indoor air quality, control temperature and humidity, and limit exposure to the health threats of airborne bacteria or carbon dioxide, while oxygen is replenished. Furthermore, potential air contaminants (such as smoke or dust) should be removed.

With continuous changes in technology, energy efficiency and government regulation, it is always best to contact your local HVAC expert when contemplating changing, replacing or installing a new heating and air conditioning system; your health and comfort may depend on them.

R-22 Phase-Out and What it Means for You

If you’re not an HVAC professional, the news that one of the most common and popular air conditioner refrigerants on the market is being phased out may have passed you by. R-22, the refrigerant used in many air conditioners, is in the process of being phased out and replaced by a more environmentally sound choice, R-410a. While this may seem like unimportant news on the surface, this change could actually affect you and your home. 

Starting in 2020, any air conditioner or heating systems relying on R-22 refrigerant will be restricted in terms of what they can use, with all R-22 being exclusively reclaimed or recycled. This will almost certainly cause services requiring refrigerant to become much more expensive. 

While the Environmental Protection Agency does not currently require homeowners to convert or change R-22 refrigerant-reliant systems, you may still want to consider upgrading to an EPA-compliant system. Whether you’re looking to do your part in terms of taking care of the environment or simply looking for a more cost-effective way to control the temperature of your home, an air conditioner replacement may be the best solution. As the availability of R-22 drops, the price will undoubtedly skyrocket. 

A licensed HVAC professional in your area will still be able to service an air conditioner that uses R-22, even as the price of the substance rises. Speaking with your HVAC professional to discuss your options regarding upgrades and how the phaseout of R-22 will affect you can give you the details you need to make an informed, wise decision.

Heating and Cooling Your Vacation Home

Because you only spend a portion of the year in your vacation home or recreational vehicle, you may not give much thought to the heating and cooling options available to you. In fact, saving money on the operation and maintenance of a second home or RV can be as simple as reviewing your climate-control options with an eye on efficiency. 

The appeal of a vacation home is, for many, the idea of escaping to a climate entirely different that that of your primary residence. While this does introduce an exotic element to your vacations, it also means that the requirements of an HVAC system will almost certainly be quite different from those of the home where you spend most of your time. In these cases, you’ll need to discuss the matter with a licensed and experienced HVAC contractor in that area so that you can determine the best possible solution for boosting both comfort and efficiency. In addition to the HVAC system installation, you’ll also need to discuss the necessary winterizing steps and climate control for harsh temperatures when you won’t be in the home, especially if the vacation home is situated in a particularly cold climate. 

For recreational vehicles and travel trailers, HVAC needs will often be quite different. Some residential heating and cooling companies offer their services to owners of mobile vacation homes, and will be well-versed in the best HVAC solutions for them. In order to enjoy your vacation or second home to the fullest, you’ll need to make sure that it’s as comfortable as possible. Your HVAC technician will be able to help you make the necessary changes to ensure that your vacation home is an efficient and comfortable place to spend leisure time.

Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

The most reliable sign of an air conditioning unit that needs replacing is one that no longer works. Still, there are a variety of reasons along the way to your AC’s last gasp that may indicate that it’s time to consider installing a new air conditioner

Before your air conditioner completely gives up, you may be faced with a series of expensive repairs. If you’re calling an HVAC technician on a fairly regular basis to diagnose and repair yet another problem with the AC unit, it’s wise to start looking into replacement options. By beginning your search while the existing unit is still marginally functional, you’ll be afforded a bit of time to do some research regarding this large purchase. When you’re not under the time constraints introduced by high temperatures and air conditioning that isn’t working, you’re able to more thoroughly examine your options. 

Another sign of a faltering AC unit is the constant need to adjust the thermostat. If you’re never quite comfortable, your air conditioner could be struggling to keep up with the distribution of air throughout your home. 

Even if your AC is still in good working condition, you may find that upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient model saves so much on your monthly cooling bills that the new unit effectively pays for itself over just a few years. Discussing the age, condition and level of functionality of your AC unit with an experienced HVAC contractor is the best way to determine what, if any, action should be taken in regard to your air conditioning system.