When evaluating your home heating and cooling options, efficiency and cost savings are important variables in your decision. Plus, if you prefer to be environmentally conscious, efficient heating and cooling products can help by using fewer resources. We carry products with a wide range of efficiency ratings—from minimum industry requirements to the world's most efficient—to provide you a wide variety of sophisticated options to meet your specific needs.
Heat pump and air conditioning systems are rated by the American Refrigeration Institute (AIR) on a standardized scale, the "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or "SEER." This rating system allows consumers to compare the operating efficiency of various equipment.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration (SEER) is a measure of how much electricity is used by a system to provide a unit of cooling. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system is in converting electricity to cooling. It is important to remember that the SEER is not a measure of cooling ability, but solely of energy used.
Since January 23, 2006, the minimum SEER unit that can be produced has risen from 10 SEER to 13 SEER.
This regulation comes from the U.S. Department of Energy and has brought about some changes in the way systems are sold. For those customers looking to replace all or part of an existing system with a SEER of less than 13, it is no longer an option to replace only the outdoor section of a heat pump or air conditioning system. Both the indoor air handler and the outdoor condensing unit have to be replaced in order to meet the new regulations.
Due to its ozone depleting characteristics, the EPA has mandated a phase-out of R22 refrigerant (commonly called FREON). Manufacturers have already begun producing systems that use the new replacement refrigerant, R410A.
By 2010, R22 will no longer be produced. Manufacturers have already started reducing their production of R22 and consumers can expect significant price increases as supplies get lower. R410A is a safe, reliable alternative to R22 and has been in use in residential systems for almost ten years.
Features such as variable-speed indoor fans, two-speed outdoor units, and controls that measure and regulate both temperature and humidity can increase the comfort level in your home will cost you less in electricity.
HVAC systems that achieve at least a 14 SEER and a 8.2 HSPF rating qualify for the Energy Star recommendation.