If you are in the market for a new cooling system for your home, it pays to be familiar with SEER. SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is used to measure the energy efficiency of the cooling unit in your home comfort system. To determine SEER rating, manufacturers measure the cooling a unit puts out over a typical summer season and divide it by the amount of energy the unit used during that time. The higher the SEER number, the more energy efficient a cooling system is. In South Carolina, the minimum SEER required by law is 14, however, there is a split system available with up to a 33 SEER rating at the time of this blog. From 14 to 33 is a big range and it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different options.
Cost vs. Savings: Is Spending More for Higher SEER Worth it?
One of the most frequent questions customers have is, "If a higher SEER number means greater energy efficiency, should I buy the highest SEER I can for my home?" Surprisingly, the answer is no. As the SEER goes up, so does the cost of the unit - by a large margin. Higher SEER units are also more expensive to repair and feature newer technology that, in some cases, isn't as reliable as the older technology of units with SEER ratings below 20. Also keep in mind that the SEER rating represents the maximum possible energy efficiency in optimal conditions. Similar to when you buy the latest smart phone that has up to 8 hours of battery life. Most users won't get the full 8 hours without needing to recharge because the way each individual uses the device affects the battery life. The same is true of SEER ratings - so a SEER of 18 really means *up to 18*.
While higher SEER does translate to less energy consumption and lower utility bills, the amount of savings for most average sized homes does not balance out the increased cost of the highest SEER rated systems. If your home is close to the average of 2,000 sq ft and you use your cooling system an average of 5 months of the year (we are in South Carolina, after all), a cooling system with a SEER rating of 14 or 16 provides you a sturdy and reliable unit with a comfortable reduction on your electric bill. If you choose an option with a SEER over 20, with installation, that system can cost in the ballpark of double the amount of the lower SEER system while only providing a few dollars more energy savings - during the 5 months of the year when you are actually running your air conditioning. If your home is much larger than average or you live in an area where you will be using your cooling system for more than two-thirds of the year, systems with SEER ratings of 18-20 could be worth the higher cost of the system.
Choosing a new HVAC or heat pump system with the best SEER rating for your home and specific needs doesn't have to be an overwhelming process. Carolina Comfort Systems can help! Our experts can review your current system and explore how much you can expect to save on utilities for different SEER rated systems to help you find the best value for your home.
Carolina Comfort Systems is always looking for ways to enhance our customers experience when using our service. To that end we now offer online bill pay or financing through the new Just Push Pay system. You can access from your mobile device or computer and if financing get an answer in minutes. To take advantage of this new pay option from Carolina Comfort Systems please follow the links below
Did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show that over 24,000 house fires and nearly $100 Million in property damage annually are related to faulty clothes dryer vent installation? These are high numbers for something that is relatively easy to prevent. Some of the problems are cause by builders or installers using improper materials to vent, very often the fire is caused by lint build up in the ducts. To avoid this make sure you clean your lint trap after each use and the ducts are professionally cleaned periodically.
Dryer vents should only terminate outside the home and have a proper damper exterior cover to help prevent water, birds, insects, etc. from entering the duct. Venting inside (to a garage or basement) will cause moisture build up. Some people use a heat diverter in colder months which, while keeping warm air inside the home also can cause moisture build up, mold and air quality issues and we do not recommend this.
The material used should be a rigid or corrugated semi rigid metal duct. If you have plastic or foil, accordion type ducting it should be replaced -this will speed up drying and cut down on lint trapped inside the vent. The rigid or corrugated semi rigid metal duct material also provides maximum air flow
What can you do?
• Make sure to check the lint filter before and after each load of clothing
• Keep the area around the dryer clean and unobstructed.
• Have ducts and vents professionally cleaned periodically
• Have a qualified professional clean the dryer chassis periodically to minimize lint accumulation
Following these simple steps will minimize safety issues and prolong the life of your dryer.
Can you remember back in the ‘old’ days, when we had to actually go over to a heater or cooling unit and push a button to turn it on and turn a dial to control the temperatures? Okay so it wasn’t really that long ago – but then came a technology breakthrough – the remote control! What was better then sitting on the couch and raising or lowering the system output? Then energy saving technology came into the mix and we could set a thermostat and the system monitored itself to cycle down when that indoor temperature was reached, and to turn on when it read it was over the desired temperature. Could it ever get better than this?
I bet you didn’t think so, but now, thanks to the Bryant Evolution® system your life can get even more comfortable. The brain behind it all is the Evolution Connex ™ control. When installed as part of the Evolution system it can monitor temperature, humidity, air quality, fan speeds, ventilation and zoning! You can program a schedule to fit your lifestyle and once you’ve programmed the settings the Connex system actively manages your home’s temperatures. The control monitors the outdoor temperatures, so instead of ramping up to meet your settings, it can adjust the time of levels to save you the most money. One of the options with this system is the ability to adjust your settings whether you are home or away by installing a Wi-Fi enabled Connex control. There is even a Touch – n – Go feature which allows you to change from ‘sleep’ or ‘away’ settings to ‘wake’ or home with ease. Carolina Comfort Systems is an authorized dealer for Bryant, and this is just another product in our impressive line that is designed to simplify your life, conserve energy and save you money on monthly bills. Call us to discuss this or our line of Bryant products.
Here are just a few of the RIGHT questions to ask your HVAC Contractor:
To see a short video on the "Right Questions to Ask Your HVAC contractor, click here! Call Carolina Comfort Systems today for an Myrtle Beach HVAC Contractor you can count on! Your satisfaction is our guarantee!