The bar for the energy efficiency of air conditioners has risen significantly over the past few decades. Just six years ago the government raised the efficiency standard for new air conditioners by 30 percent. So how much could you benefit from upgrading your St. Louis area home with a high-efficiency air conditioner?

What qualifies as a high-efficiency air conditioner?

To meet the minimum governmental energy standards, a newly manufactured air conditioner must have a SEER rating of 13 or better. Highly efficient Energy Star units must have a SEER rating of 14 or better and are about 14+ percent more efficient than standard models.

How much energy can you save by upgrading to a high-efficiency air conditioner?

The amount of energy you can save by upgrading to a high-efficiency air conditioner depends on the efficiency of your current unit.

If you have a much older unit with a SEER rating of 6 or lower, a high-efficiency unit can cut your energy usage by over 50 percent. If your current unit meets the old governmental standard of a SEER rating of 10, you can cut your energy usage by 30 percent just by meeting the new SEER minimum of 13.

When you consider that heating and cooling consumes more energy than any other system in your house, it’s clear that upgrading to a high-efficiency air conditioner can have long-term benefits on your energy consumption and your wallet.

What other considerations should you take into account?

It’s important to know that a SEER rating is only an estimate of the energy consumption of a unit under optimal conditions. An air conditioner must be sized and installed correctly to achieve that efficiency. That’s why it’s always important to work with a trusted, NATE-certified contractor for any of your HVAC installations and repairs.

If you have any questions about a high-efficiency air conditioner, or if you’d like one installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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