If you noticed that your energy bills have started to increase, it is safe to assume that your cooling system is no longer energy efficient. An energy-efficient AC is going to save you money even during those periods when the rates increase in Murrieta, CA. There are a couple of calculations that professionals like us at We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air use to figure out the energy efficiency of an AC unit. Here is some information to help you understand how they are calculated.
Why Energy Efficiency Is Important
An effort to make appliances, big-ticket household items, and homes energy efficient has been underway for a couple of decades. Today, it is something that the HVAC and real estate industry has taken to heart. New homes include features such as double-paned windows and insulation that prevent indoor air from escaping as well as outdoor air from entering. Houses are sealed off from the outdoor air and elements like never before, which makes them environmentally friendly and efficient.
Energy efficiency helps the individual, public, and environment. Now that more homes are being built as well as multi-unit complexes, there is more strain on the electric grid. There is also less space for the public to plant trees on their properties because some homes and most multi-unit complexes have no space for a yard. So, people rely on their AC units to help cool them off indoors. When several cooling systems are running simultaneously during the warm months, it presents a problem for those who operate the electric grid in their respective regions. This is why government agencies at all levels will encourage their constituents to complete energy-related tasks after peak hours.
When you use energy-efficient appliances, you are managing your energy use, which will lead to savings. You are also helping the public and the environment.
The SEER rating is also known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The rating considers how much energy a unit needs in order to provide a cold output. The ratio takes a look at the unit’s performance over a year. This ratio is used on new AC units. In 2015, systems installed in multi-unit buildings, for example, had to have a minimum SEER of 14. The lowest SEER is 13 while the best can reach 26, but if you find a unit you like with a rating of 22, you are still in a great zone. The higher the rating, the more the initial cost. In the long run, though, the unit will deliver a return on investment because it is so efficient.
To fully reap the benefits of an energy-efficient AC unit, there are some additional things you can do that do not require an additional or significant investment. If you have a basement or attic, ensuring that they are insulated is recommended regardless of the rating of an HVAC system. When there are no cracks or crevices, moisture is less likely to fester. Moisture that is allowed to sit untouched for an extended period of time will eventually grow mold. This is also a prime breeding ground for other bacteria and spores.
Closing the curtain and blinds during the hours when the sun’s rays are entering your home keeps the majority of that heat out. Changing the hours when you cook with the stove or oven is another way to control the heat created inside.
Energy Star Rating
If your unit has the Energy Star logo on it, you can rest assured that when it was new, the unit met the energy-efficient standards. An appliance has to qualify for the rating. This means that several requirements must be met. There are requirements that are voluntary. Then, there are those that are mandatory. Over time, your AC is going to experience wear and tear. It should be expected, so it begins to lose its ability to produce output at 100% as well as its ability to continue being energy efficient. When you notice that the performance becomes sluggish, you can enlist professionals to help the unit get as close to its manufacturer’s specifications. You can also begin thinking about acquiring a replacement.
The average lifespan of a cooling system is between 15 to 20 years. In other cases, it is 10 to 15 years. Technology has been rapidly evolving over the last decade. So, if the unit has been useful to you for at least 10 years without needing too many repairs or replacement parts, you can rest assured that you broke even on your investment. Now you can look forward to acquiring a unit that includes the latest features such as a two-stage compressor, compatibility with HEPA filters, and air direction control.
Another important calculation that allows an individual to gauge the energy efficiency of a new cooling unit is the load calculation. The goal of this equation is to ensure that an individual purchases the cooling system that is going to best meet their needs and be energy efficient.
The following factors are taken into consideration:
- Local climate
- Geographic latitude
- Home’s layout and age
- The directional orientation
- Number and location of windows
- Roof’s material and condition
- Potential shading
- Appliances and light fixtures inside the home
- Number of human and animal occupants
When the unit in your home was first installed, you can assume that it was the best fit. It met the requirements that were present at that time. As your home and the AC age, they change. So, what was energy efficient a decade ago may not be so now. The good news is that the load calculation can be calculated based on the current parameters. This gives you the opportunity to upgrade a system that may need to be replaced soon anyway.
What If Your Unit Is No Longer Energy-Efficient?
Your current AC unit should not be a burden on your finances. It should not prevent you from being fully comfortable in your home, either. When the unit requires frequent repairs or your energy bills are increasing, it is no longer acting as a benefit for you. This is the right time to start exploring your options.
A new AC unit requires the expertise of a professional like We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air in Murrieta. We are well-versed in several brands and models. Our experience allows us to make recommendations based on an assessment of the house and other criteria. Once you pick out a new AC, the best way to ensure it runs efficiently is to allow us to install it for you. During this process, we can ensure that it fits in the space allotted. We test the unit to double-check that it is going to operate as intended. We can also point out the features that you can utilize. We can teach you how to operate your new system with settings that are the best for your needs.
At We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air in Murrieta, we can help you figure out the energy efficiency of your current cooling unit. Plus, if you are ready for a new unit, we can guide you through your options according to their efficiency. We also offer plumbing, heating, and indoor air quality services. Please contact us today, and we can serve your indoor climate comfort needs.