Upgrading an air conditioner isn’t something you should put off for too long. Your AC is one of the most important components in your home. It works to keep you comfortable, but it also helps to reduce humidity, which is critically important in most areas of Florida. If your existing model isn’t efficient or cannot be repaired, it may be time to upgrade. Here’s what to consider before you make a purchase.
SEER Rating and ENERGY STAR
New air conditioners are highly efficient, allowing them to work well to control temperatures in your home but also to keep your energy bills low. There are two ways to compare systems, the SEER Rating, and the ENERGY STAR rating.
The higher the SEER rating is, the more efficient the AC will be. In most situations, you do not want anything under a 13 SEER, with most being acceptable between 13 and 21. You’ll pay more for more efficiency, but it tends to be worth it in humid climates where the temperatures are consistently high. For some, 13 is okay, but trying to increase this to at least 15 could be more worth your investment overall.
ENERGY STAR ratings are also important. A product will be labeled as ENERGY STAR certified if it has a SEER rating of 14.5 or higher.
If your existing AC unit only has a SEER rating of 8 or 9, that may mean that switching to a newer, more energy-efficient model is ideal.
Consider Tax Credits
Federal and state programs to encourage people to move towards energy-efficient products are helping to keep the cost of upgrading an air conditioner more affordable. Though these programs may change over time, always look for legislation that’s extending residential credits for high-efficiency AC systems and heat pumps. The Federal Income Tax Credit is a solid starting point, and it’s been extended through 2032. It provides a tax credit if you invest in an approved system, lowering your taxable income.
Florida Public Utilities also has a residential electric rebate available to those who upgrade to a high-efficiency heat pump or an air conditioner. This may offer up to $100 just for installing a system that has a high SEER rating.
Some manufacturers offer discounts and rebates from time to time. Stay on top of these offers to ensure you’re getting the best model available. New models with manufacturer rebates could be priced affordably, allowing you to improve the comfort in your home for a fraction of the cost.
If you’re unsure what to buy or how to get the most efficient solution for your home, let your AC technician offer guidance to you. They can provide you with insight into the best size and type of air conditioner for your home and guide you in the process of getting the best pricing from the manufacturer.