The most frequently asked question during the hot, humid dog days of summer in the South is “why does my air conditioner constantly run?” The answer – simply, because it is HOT! Often temperatures rise well above the 90 degree mark. Most HVAC units are designed to operate efficiently at a specific temperature, the proper term is design temp. The design temp for Georgia is 95 degrees. What does this mean? The design temperature essentially means that your system will function at or near 100% in heat 95 degrees or less. When the temperature is lower than 95 degrees, a correctly functioning unit should not struggle, run constantly or experience issues cooling your home comfortably. Air Conditioning units are considered fully functioning when it is able to cool your home at least 20 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature, even if this means running most of the day.
So what happens when temperatures rise above 95 degrees? Your air conditioning units efficiency will decrease. Layman’s terms – your system is working harder but less productive. The higher the temperature rises, the less productive your system will be to cool your home. Usually, the next question from a customer is; “Is there anything I can do to increase my unit’s efficiency?” The answer is yes.
Aside from regular preventative maintenance, you may consider investing in a new unit that has a higher SEER rating. What is SEER? SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. I’ll spare you the intense mathematical equation used to determine SEER ratings and explain the importance. Quite a bit of Industry study has been done to determine the best SEER rating based on geographical areas. Currently, Georgia’s lowest SEER rated units are 13; next year, the SEER rating will increase to 14. Now, you are curious as to logic behind the increase in rating, so here is the logic explained. Simply, the higher the SEER rating, the lower the operating cost (this translates to a lower electric bill!). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your unit will function and the happier your checkbook will be each month!
What’s the catch? The catch is the higher the SEER rating, more the unit will cost to purchase; however, the operating cost are lower. In the long run, the initial investment of a higher SEER rated unit pays off by reducing annual operating cost. The chart below is a breakdown of the annual operating cost for a non brand specific 3 ton system - this is just an estimate, I will give you more information later on how to get an exact estimate for your home or business.
Each home, office or business is different. There is a laundry list of factors that will affect how well a system performs; for example, regular preventative maintenance, filter replacement, position of the unit outside, the layout of the structure and the list continues. To obtain the exact operating cost and what SEER rated unit would best benefit you and your budget, Reese HVAC Services recommends an onsite evaluation. We will come to your location, evaluate the current yearly operating cost, calculate different SEER rated units and provide you with your options. Please call Reese HVAC today to schedule your onsite evaluation to lower your operating cost and electric bill!