Almost everyone understands the need to be more environmentally friendly, but when it comes to buying a new air conditioner or new furnace, it may be tempting to go with a cheaper model that is less efficient. While this saves money in the short term, a high efficiency heater or air conditioner can actually save a homeowner money in the long term. Before buying the cheaper, less efficient model, do the math to see how much an energy efficient model might save you.
For furnaces, their efficiency output is measured in Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). This measurement seeks to measure the energy output relative to the input. For instance, if a gas furnace puts out 90 BTUs of energy for every 100 BTUs of gas input, it would have a AFUE rating of 90%. The higher the number on this scale, the more efficient a particular unit is.
For air conditioners, energy efficiency is measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This is the ratio of cooling output relative to the amount of energy input into a particular unit. All central air conditioning units must have a SEER rating of 13, with Energy Star certified units at 14.5 or higher (the higher the number, the more efficient a unit). Window units are generally around 10 for SEER ratings while some very old air conditioners might be at a 9.
So what does this all mean for energy costs? It means that a homeowner who replaces their old SEER 9 air conditioner with a SEER 13 model, they can expect to cut about 30% from their energy bill in the summer months, depending on specific usage patterns. If a person is relying on several window units to cool their home during the hot St. Louis summers, they could save even more. A person replacing their 80 AFUE furnace with a 96 AFUE furnace will save 18% on their energy bills in the winter.
It is important to note that in order to achieve the maximum energy saving from these new units, they must be installed properly. If there are drafts, incorrect equipment, or leaky ducts, it means that a homeowner will be wasting money and wasting energy. By working with an experienced heating and cooling company, you can be sure that your units are properly installed and that your units are good for your energy bills and good for the environment.
At Classic Aire Care, we take pride in every new installation and make certain that it is done properly. We know that homeowners expect these new units to pay for themselves over their lifetime and we know how vital proper installation is to that equation. We will take the time to answer any questions you may have about energy efficient furnaces or air conditioners and help you find the right unit for your home. We have been the premier heating and cooling company for St. Louis and St. Charles for more than 80 years and will put that experience to work for you. To speak with an expert about your air conditioner or furnace needs, contact Classic Aire Care today!