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How to Calculate SEER Ratings for Your Austin HVAC System

If you are wondering about the energy efficiency of your Austin HVAC system, here are some things you need to know.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is a number that provides the energy-efficiency of an HVAC system. Contrary to an instantaneous energy-efficiency rating, a SEER rating provides the predicted energy efficiency of the HVAC system over an entire Austin cooling season.

The efficiency varies from day-to-day because the efficiency at any point in time depends on the temperature of the indoor and outdoor air. If you are considering HVAC repair, or if you’re upgrading to a unit with a higher SEER value, you can easily calculate your predicted energy savings from making the switch.

Step 1

Review your utility bills to see your current month by month electrical consumption. Air conditioners consume electricity, not gas, so the system will be responsible for part of your electrical bill in the summer months. You want to determine exactly how much. To do this, look at your winter electric bills to see what your typical electrical consumption is when not running the air conditioner. It is best to take the average of a few months, such as November through February. Then take that mean consumption and subtract it from your electrical bills in the summer months. This will give you a rough estimate of how much energy your air conditioner uses each month.

Step 2

Compare the prospective SEER rating to you current SEER rating. Specifically, a SEER value represents the amount of energy (as heat) that the system is predicted to remove from a house divided by the amount of energy (as electricity) it is predicted to consume. Because air conditioners simply move heat from indoors to outdoors, this ratio can be much greater than 1. A more efficient unit will always have a higher SEER rating.

Step 3

Calculate how much electricity the prospective unit must consume to match the cooling effect of your current unit. You can perform this calculation with simple division. If your prospective SEER rating is 14 and your current SEER rating is 10, divide 14 by 10 to get 140 percent. This number tells you that the new unit would provide 140 percent as much cooling effect for an equal consumption of electricity. Simply divide the estimated electrical consumption of your current air conditioner by 140 percent, or 1.4, to arrive at the estimated electrical consumption of the prospective unit for each month.

Step 4

Calculate the actual cost savings. To do this, multiply the electrical consumption of your current unit during an entire cooling season by the mean cost of a kilowatt-hour. Divide this number by the ratio previously calculated to see the cooling cost of the new unit over the whole season. The difference in these two costs is your estimated savings from the new unit.

For more information on HVAC systems visit ABC Home and Commercial Services website.

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