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SEER Rating. What Is It and What Does It Mean to You?

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SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it is a rating of how efficiently an air conditioner uses electricity for cooling. The SEER measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A SEER rating is a maximum efficiency rating, similar to the miles per gallon for your car. Your car might get 28 miles per gallon on the highway, but if you’re stuck in city traffic it could be lower. If your air conditioner is 14 SEER, that’s its maximum efficiency.

You select the SEER of your air conditioner when it is purchased and installed. The higher the SEER rating, the better. There is a wide range of SEER ratings in the DFW area. Most units older than 2005 will have a SEER rating of 10 or less. However, the new minimum SEER rating for DFW is 14. Other common SEER ratings that you may encounter are 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20.

Air conditioners with lower SEER ratings are usually single-stage and only run on one speed. This means they’ll frequently turn on and off during mild weather and you’ll experience uneven cooling or hot and cold spots. You’ll also experience higher humidity levels which makes it feel hotter than it actually is. Your A/C needs to run for a long period of time to remove humidity from your home’s air. The ups and downs of a single-stage system don’t accommodate for this.

The price goes up with the SEER rating, but so do the comfort features like: variable speed air flow, multi stage and variable stage cooling, and humidity control. There’s no magic SEER number. Anything over 14 is great. Because if you have an old 8 SEER system and replace it with a 16 SEER unit, you could significantly reduce the cost of cooling your home.

Don’t forget to look at tax credits and manufacturer’s rebates that can bring down the cost of a high SEER system. You can also feel good using fewer fossil fuels, which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

If you have more questions about SEER or want to invest in a new cooling system, get in touch with Gentry AC today. Our friendly HVAC experts can work with you to find an energy saving option that’s the perfect fit for your current home or when your building your new energy efficient dream home.

 

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Common Mistakes Homeowners Make with Their Air Conditioning Units

Your home’s air conditioning system is one of those things that works so well most of the time, that you almost forget it is there. But when it isn’t working well, especially here in Texas, you will definitely notice. It’s such an important part of your home, that it is imperative that you treat it right.

Ignoring proper air conditioning management will raise your energy bills, decrease the efficiency of your system, and ultimately require additional costly and time-consuming repairs. So, avoid these common mistakes and reap the cool rewards!

Not changing air filters

The air filter is the lifeline of your air conditioning system. Try to imagine running a marathon while breathing through a straw. You will try your best, but eventually, you are going to give out. Running the system with dirty air filters does the same thing to your air conditioning system. Make sure that you change those filters once a month and keep your air conditioner breathing freely all summer.

Avoiding tune-ups

It may feel like a lot of money to spend when everything is running fine but checking on the unit while its working is just like getting a physical at the doctor. Preventative maintenance saves much more money in the long run. Our friendly professionals can catch small issues before they get out of control.

Not using a programmable thermostat

This gives you automated control on how and when the unit runs. Running the air conditioner at 72 degrees 24/7 wastes energy and ultimately reduces the life span of your unit.

Restricting airflow

Outdoors, you want to make sure your unit has at least 24 inches of clearance from shrubs and other structures all the way around. if you have furniture in front of intake vents, move it out 4 inches to let the air enter the vent. Don’t close off supply vents in rooms that aren’t in use, either. Your unit is designed to use all of the available ductwork and vents! Closing vents off only adds stress to your unit.

Follow these expert tips year-round, and give us a call today to schedule your next air conditioning system maintenance appointment! Gentry Air Conditioning is here to keep you and your family comfortable no matter what the Texas weather brings.

 

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How to Get the Most Out of a Struggling Air Conditioning Unit

That famous summer heat has begun to descend on North Texas, and it’s only the start of June. It is a heavy life to ask for from your AC unit, especially considering that we are in for months more of this. When your air conditioner starts to struggle, few people have a budget set aside for a brand new air conditioner! Luckily, there is usually a bit more time you can get out of a system at the end of its lifespan. This post will help you get the most out of your unit while you budget for a new air conditioning system.

Read on for some tips on how to get the most out of your struggling AC unit, and what to expect:

Turn up the thermostat. This should be the first and most obvious step. 78 degrees is the high end of comfortable temperatures for most people. The less the unit runs, the less chance for a breakdown.

DO NOT turn the unit off while you are not home. This is a common practice, but your air conditioning unit will have to work harder overall to catch up when you return.

Change your air filters monthly. Dirty filters make it harder for your unit to move air, which causes system strain.

Make your house use as little energy as possible. This not only will save you money on your energy bills but will go a long way toward keeping your home cooler overall. Draw your blinds and shades, caulk windows, seal gaps and cracks that let outside air in, keep as few lights on as possible, and only run your major appliances like dishwashers and dryers late at night. You can also consider limiting the use of your oven on hot days.

Run your ceiling fans to make the air feel more comfortable. This is a helpful trick all summer, regardless of whether your air conditioning unit is struggling or brand new.

Finally, be prepared to spend some money to keep it going. Breakdowns may happen and refrigerant may be needed. It is not ideal, sometimes a bandaid repair is best in the short term to keep your system afloat until you can make your big purchase of a new system.

If you find yourself in this situation this summer, get in touch with us here at Gentry Air Conditioning immediately. We can help you and your family stay comfortable in the short and long terms!

 

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