There’s a lot of confusion about air conditioning units and air conditioning installation in general. Some expert contactors believe that over half of the air conditioning units installed in the Toronto area are actually not set up properly and are therefore causing households to waste a good deal of energy, along with a number of other problems. This is not a new problem, however. In 2008 the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, was introduced to try to improve the overall performance of air conditioning units in our homes.
What is SEER and Why Is It Important When It Comes to Air Conditioning Installation?
The SEER rating is a number which represents the cooling efficiency of a particular air conditioning unit. It is calculated by dividing the cooling output of the unit by the amount of energy it uses in that period. A unit with a low SEER rating shows that it has low efficiency, whereas a unit with a higher SEER rating would be among the more efficient units. This is important for you as a householder, and to everyone as a society, for a number of reasons:
• It Has a Large Impact on Your Energy Bills – You wouldn’t run your air conditioning unit all day long with the windows and doors open, right? Of course not – the cooling effect of the unit would be constantly diluted by the warm air entering your building, making the unit continually work harder, burning more energy and costing you more money. In the same way, an air conditioning installation with a low SEER rating can be costing you money without you even realizing it. It’s in your financial interests to have a unit with a high SEER rating.
• It Has a Large Impact on the Environment – One inefficient air conditioning unit in one home is wasteful and certainly not good, but it isn’t going to cause the end of civilization. However, when you think of the number of air conditioners being used in Toronto alone on a hot summer’s day, and consider that half of them aren’t working as efficiently as they could be, that represents a huge amount of energy consumption that could easily be reduced. Applying high SEER standards is a big step towards doing that.
• It’s Good for the Country – Every year, the summer demand for power placed on the national energy grid increases. Despite our efforts to reduce waste, we have to accommodate a growing population. That makes it all the more necessary for everyone to use power efficiently. Ultimately, a waste of energy is a waste of our country’s precious resources and manpower. It’s also a waste of your tax dollars which support our energy infrastructure.
• It’s Regulated – The Heating, refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) sets a SEER rating of 12 as the minimum acceptable to achieve the Energy Star standard.
• It Has Implications for Installation – Whenever you come to having a new air conditioning installation – or a replacement, for that matter – the professional contractor will want to make certain decision about the unit’s location – will it be wall or window mounted? Is a northern exposure possible? Is it exposed to direct sunlight Is the area properly sealed? These are all factors which can affect the unit’s efficiency and, therefore, need to be taken into consideration.
Understanding SEER ratings is not difficult, but it’s essential for saving money and protecting the environment. Thankfully, contractors are fully aware of them and their importance. If you’re considering a new or replacement air conditioning installation, be sure to ask your contractor about SEER ratings.