It is that time of year to think about AC

Yesterday was Memorial Day a solemn day of remembrance, a day when we pay tribute to those that have protected our freedoms.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of the summer season.  And, after we have given homage and respect for those that served we can think summer.

Summer typically calls for Air Conditioning.  For years we would always hear, “….oh, it’s Vermont, we don’t need AC!”  But lately we have all been spoiled and want Air Conditioning in our homes.  Ok, but which one do we buy?

  1. Window Air Conditioner – Look for an appliance with a good SEER Rating.  SEER ratings run between 13 and 25.  The SEER rating is its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.  The higher the number the more efficient the appliance. 
  2. Heat Pump AC – we have talked about Heat Pumps a lot but mostly with regard to providing heat in the winter.  Don’t forget that your Heat Pump also provides AC in the summer.  The AC part of a Heat Pump is measured with a SEER rating and its heating efficiency is measured in a HSPF rating (Heating Season Performance Factor).

Remember how we tried to point out Myths or Fairytales about mortgages?  Well, there are several Fairytales about SEER also.

  • The SEER rating is always the appliance’s best possible.  A good comparison would be the gas-mileage quoted for cars.  The numbers shown on the sticker seldom are accurate.  The same is true with SEER numbers.  The actual SEER rating is a variable that constantly changes depending on many conditions at that exact moment, things like heat and humidity
  • Replacing older equipment for better SEER ratings will save you money.  Well, not exactly!  The cost of new equipment could easily outweigh the advantages of  lower energy costs of a new air conditioner.  Most AC units today have a SEER rating of between 13 and 14.  Increasing the SEER to 21 is a very expensive venture that could take years to recover the expense.

The size of your AC unit is going to vary.  For example, the requirements for a home in Addison County’s Panton are apt to be different that up in the mountains of Reading in Windsor County. 

SEER ratings are good to look at and consider when buying a new appliance.  What are your thoughts?

Share this post