Unusual noises. High energy bills. Heat is on, but you’re shivering. These include some of the telltale signs that your AC/heat pump is old and should be replaced.
The cost of maintaining an old AC/heat pump will soon add up to the cost of replacing it with a new one if you’re not proactive. When replacing your AC/heat pump, it is important to consider the SEER and STAR ratings. These ratings will illustrate the energy efficiency of a given AC/heat pump so you can make the best purchasing decision.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a way to measure the energy efficiency of AC/heat pump. SEER measures the cooling efficiency of two types of AC/heat pumps: air-source and ductless-split systems. SEER ratings are a measure of maximum efficiency for AC/heat pump systems; this is similar to miles per gallon on a vehicle. The federal minimum SEER rating for a modern AC/heat pump unit is 13; the higher the SEER rating for an AC/heat pump, the higher the efficiency. SEER ratings can be as high as 27.5 for STAR rated models.
STAR certified AC/heat pumps meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. STAR models of any AC/heating system generally have higher SEER and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings. Additionally, they tend to use less energy than conventional new models. Both STAR and SEER ratings are methods of gauging energy efficiency, but STAR has the backing of the U.S. EPA.
Replacing an older AC/heat pump will save substantial energy for your home. If your current AC/heat pump is over 10 years old, it is highly likely that your SEER rating is well below the federal minimum of 13. Proactiveness in replacing your old AC/heat pump will save you money and the hassle of constantly repairing your current AC/heat pump. The impact that a new AC/heat pump will have on your energy savings will be immediate. STAR rated models on average can cut your annual energy bill by $115.
As a rule of thumb, AC/heat pumps with higher SEER or STAR certification, will cost more. Although getting a system with a STAR or high SEER rating might be more expensive upfront, the long-term benefits are substantial. Over the lifetime of your AC/heat pump, these models will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars just on your energy bill alone. In addition to cost-savings, their performance is substantially better than systems with low SEER ratings. If you would like to learn more about STAR systems and SEER ratings, please talk to one of our AC/heat experts at 513-574-0025.