It’s funny—people who haven’t spent much time in Colorado often think that it’s a cold place to live. Even though we might be known for skiing, snowboarding, and other fun winter activities, the reality is that our summers can get hot, especially here in Northern Colorado. Temperatures approaching (and even exceeding) 100 °F aren’t uncommon here in Windsor, so we like our air conditioning just as much as anyone else.
When the summer heat hits, you’ll definitely want to be running your A/C—but are you paying too much for the privilege? In recent years, HVAC manufacturers have made a real effort to increase the energy efficiency of their units, and the push has been mostly successful. The proof? Your monthly energy bill.
An energy efficient air conditioner can save you up to 30% on your energy bill during the summer. Yes, that much. The advancements in energy efficiency have really ramped up in recent years, so if your air conditioner is fifteen years old or more, it’s absolutely time to replace it. Having said that, systems that are even just 10 years old aren’t going to perform as well as the latest units, which can save a remarkable 15% or 20% on your summer energy bill.
Now that you know how much an energy efficient air conditioner can save you during the warm months in Colorado, let’s discuss what to look for, beginning with the SEER rating system:
Understanding the SEER Rating System and Energy Star Certification
SEER is an acronym for “Seasonal Energy-Efficient Ratio.” The goal of this rating is to measure the energy efficiency of a unit, specifically, the amount of electricity required to output a certain degree of cooling.
The minimum required SEER rating for new air conditioners—meaning the least energy efficient a manufacturer can make them—is 13. For comparison, an older HVAC unit might have a SEER rating of as low as 6! The highest SEER rating is usually 21, with most modern units ranging from 14 or 15 to that rating. You’ll want to get a unit with the highest SEER rating as is reasonable for your needs and budget.
A quick way to tell if a unit has been properly rated by a governing body is to look for an Energy Star certification. This means that the air conditioner has been officially inspected by an unbiased third party and its SEER rating is accurate.
In addition to a good SEER rating and Energy Star certification, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for a couple of important features if you want to optimize your savings. Let’s take a look at them now.
Know These Must-Have Features When Shopping for Energy Efficient Air Conditioners
If you’ve been reading the Best Buy Heating & Air blog for any length of time, you know that we’re big advocates of regularly changing your air filters. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest ways to keep your air clean and prevent your HVAC unit from working harder than it needs to (thus costing you more).
A feature more modern air conditioners tend to have these days is a filter check light—it does exactly what it sounds like: lights up and lets you know that it’s time to check and possibly replace your air filters. It’s a simple innovation to be sure, but it really helps out busy families who might let their filters run weeks or even months longer than they should!
Additionally, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for a feature called a variable speed air handler, which is a fancy term for an automatic fan option to promote cooling even when the air conditioner isn’t running, which can also automatically turn off to save even more energy.
Learn More About How to Reduce Your Energy Bill This Summer at Best Buy Heating & Air
Ready to reduce your Colorado cooling bill by 30% or more this summer? Our team of experts are standing by to provide you with expert guidance—just give us a ring at (970) 218-0414 to start a conversation. You may also email us or, if you need help with your current HVAC system, you’re invited to make a service request.