Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How Important Is Efficiency for a New AC Installation?


Efficiency in an air conditioner is a simple concept to describe—but it’s far less simple to explain when it comes to how efficiency affects your overall choice of system for an AC installation in Frederick, MD. The details of air conditioner efficiencies can get complex.

But the simple part first: the efficiency of an air conditioner is how well it converts the incoming power (electricity) into outgoing cool air. The more efficient the AC, the less electricity goes to waste in the process of removing heat from a space’s air to cool it.

How Efficiency Is Measured

Let’s head deeper into the weeds here to describe the actual efficiency rating you’ll see on an air conditioning system you may wish to have installed. This rating is SEER, which stands for ­seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This is a ratio of how much electricity is used (in watt-hours) to generate an amount of cooling (in BTUs removed from the air) as measured during a whole season under a range of conditions. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit. The minimum SEER required for an AC to earn the US Government’s ENERGY STAR label is 15. Many high-efficiency ACs have a rating in the 20s.

There’s also a rating called EER, which is almost identical to SEER except it isn’t measured over a season, only over a single test at set conditions. EER is always lower than SEER.

When Picking an AC, The Efficiency Rating Is…

Extremely important! And also not important at all!

What do we mean by that? The efficiency rating is an essential part of selecting an AC, but it is not at all a guarantee that an AC will be a money saver or right for a particular house:

  • Efficiency only means how well the AC uses electricity. It has nothing to do with the AC’s power level. You can have a high-efficiency air conditioner in your home but not receive any benefit from it because it’s the wrong size for the house. It’s no good to have an efficient air conditioner that has to run constantly because it can’t keep up with the cooling demands of the house.
  • The higher the efficiency of an air conditioner, the more expensive the unit. It may not be worth it for your current budget to purchase an extremely high-efficiency variable-speed multi-stage compressor air conditioner. You might get results just as good with a model a bit lower down on the efficiency scale.

How to Find the Right Efficiency

You can find the right efficiency air conditioning system without scrambling your brains. All you have to do is call on AC installation professionals. They’ll do a load calculation for your house so they know the right size of system to install, and then they’ll assist you with finding the best efficiency of unit that fits both your current budget and your long-term savings plan.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to excel expectations at every turn. Schedule a great AC maintenance with us today.