Here’s a little something to know in case you didn’t before moving to Florida… it’s hot! And because of the harsh climate, it’s best to make sure you’ll be getting the most out of your air conditioning unit before you buy it. The last thing you want is for you to get a unit that’s a low SEER rating and be stuck in the middle of July in Florida without any air due to defects with the system you’ve got.
The largest consumer of energy within the typical Florida home is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) which accounts for more than 40% of your utility bill. Energy use is affected by insulation levels, system efficiency, shading on the home, quality and sealing of the windows and doors, and design of the duct system. These are all essential assets to consider within your search for a new unit to maximize the life of you’re a/c and quality of life while using it.
I have yet to meet someone here in Florida that has had issues with their air conditioning system to due low SEER ratings and this is because everyone here seems to have the same idea: the pros of a higher SEER rating outweigh the cons.
What is a SEER Rating?
The SEER rating is all about the efficiency of air conditioning. Your air conditioner efficiency will be determined by the SEER rating or otherwise referred to as, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the rating, the more efficient your air will run throughout the hot summer months of Florida. This is something very important to consider before purchasing your new unit or new
home and can greatly impact your utility bill, since you’ll expectantly be running your air conditioner often within your time here. The more efficient you’re a/c unit is, the less energy it will take to cool your home.
The SEER rating is also something I’ve had to consider upon moving here along with other things I’ve mentioned in previous posts due to the harsh tropical climate I’m not accustomed to. I’d advise new residents to keep reading if they want to learn how to make the most out of your new home and energy bill.
ACDoctor recommends that people have air conditioning systems at least a SEER rating of 16 in the Sunbelt region where it will be running most often. Though there are ratings as low as eight, the federal government mandates that all newly installed units be at least a SEER rating of 13.
There’s of course higher ratings too, I think it goes all the way up to 25! There is a list of reasons beside higher efficiency that make the higher SEER rating desired, all of which can be summarized in three parts: environmental impact, energy consumption, and wallet impact.
The ratio of how high or low the SEER rating is to how much it costs is an essential aspect to consider when purchasing a new air conditioning system. The lower the rating, the higher it will cost your wallet and the negative environmental impacts. If you were to purchase a unit with at least a SEER rating of 16 in Florida, you’d end up saving around $2,000 in operating costs throughout the lifespan of your system and prevent nearly 30,000 pounds of Green House Gases from being released into the atmosphere. That’s a lot of saving you’d be doing.
The money is an obvious benefit but the 30,000 pounds of Green House Gases you’re preventing equals that of planting four acres of forest each year. If you’re someone who likes to pinch a penny and protect our planet, the SEER rating is definitely something to consider before making your move to a different unit here or home.
My personal unit has a rating of 17 and while using it non-stop throughout the summer months, I can be worry free in knowing my bill won’t be through the roof and that I’m not hurting the environment. Had I not known about the SEER rating and learned of its impact on Florida, I would be in a world of misery.
You’re probably thinking that while living in Florida, your energy bill will be through the roof due to the hot weather but the truth is, as long as you purchase a system with the suggested rating above, your average energy bill shouldn’t be higher than someone’s who isn’t living in such heat.
If you’re still thinking about not making the investment in a higher SEER rating unit, then be prepared to pay more each month you have it running. The investments you’ll be making in these essential aspects of your home are necessary in order to live a stress-free retirement and make the best out of your home.
Now, in order to ensure that your unit runs smoothly throughout the year, another thing to consider is installation and placement of the air conditioner. In order to achieve the maximum proficiency, the contractor you select will play the key role in determining this due to the need for proper installation.
The best contractor will determine the unit’s correct size and placement in order to achieve just the right amount of cooling throughout your home. Be sure to hire the right professionals to do the job so that you won’t be burdened down the road with a faulty a/c system.
If you find yourself in Florida or anywhere else within the Sunbelt region from somewhere like Vermont, where the air is used sparingly, chances are you’ll probably face questions regarding you’re a/c unit which you’ve not previously had to consider.
I faced the very same questions and was at a loss for how to go about the entire air conditioning situation until I did the needed research and came across a professional which suited my home’s needs after referrals from different articles and websites.
I’d suggest being thoroughly educated on the SEER rating and its effect on the people of Florida before making the commitment to any specific type of air conditioner.