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SEER Rating – The AC Efficiency Rating Explained

Category: HVAC

A family enjoying time

Saving Money & Energy Efficient

You’re looking into purchasing a new AC unit and keep hearing the phrase “SEER Rating”. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy states that heating and cooling account for 55% of the energy used in residential homes. Energy prices aren’t getting any cheaper, therefore, maximizing efficiency is an excellent way to keep money in your pocket at the end of each month. Learn what that means, and how your SEER rating relates to buying a new furnace and air conditioner.

What is a SEER Rating?

All HVAC systems have SEER ratings which stand for Seasonal Energy Efficiency ratio. This ratio allows individuals to determine the efficiency of an AC system. The higher the final number is, the more efficient.

The average production of an air conditioning unit is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs, and the average energy expended is measured in watts. The result will be a number from 6 to 23. The most popular systems boast a SEER of 20 or higher. A system with a SEER of 20 would use 1/20th of energy as one with a SEER of 10, even though they may have the same output.SEER ratings are only used to determine the energy efficiency of air conditioners and home heat pumps

An HVAC unit that has a higher SEER is often due to two components that provide greater indoor comfort.

  • 2-stage or variable-speed compressor
  • Variable-speed blower
Seer rating effienc

Differences Between Single-Stage and Two-Stage HVAC systems

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. Y

You’ll also experience higher humidity levels which makes it feel hotter than it is. Your A/C needs to run for a long period of time to remove humidity from your home’s air. A single-stage system’s ups and downs don’t accommodate this, and it might require maintenance for them to run comfortably.

Price of a Two Stage HVAC system


It’s a trade-off, the higher the SEER rating now equals lower costing energy bills for years to come. 
The SEER rating of an air conditioning unit is one of many features that have an effect on the price.  Higher-performing units can be more costly than older units or units for each increase in SEER rating, expect to pay anywhere from $350 – $1500

See Rating Graphic

Minimum SEER Ratings For HVAC Units in Minnesota


Between extreme weather swings and Increases in energy cost, living in Minnesota, we know the importance of having an energy-efficient HVAC system to deal with the heat and the humidity.   The Department of Energy determined in 2015 that starting in 2023, the SEER minimum in Minnesota should be 14 to keep up with both increased energy costs and warming trends.

Interested in options for a new energy-efficient Air Conditioner or Heat Pump for your home? Contact Dean’s Home Services to schedule a free home comfort consultation where an HVAC professional can review the options which make the most sense for you.

An air conditioner cleaning has a number of benefits which improve its efficiency as well as the life of the unit.

Do You Need an Air Conditioner Cleaning?

If your outdoor AC unit is dirty, it can lead to poor air quality inside your home which reduces its efficiency.

Signs your AC needs maintenance
  • Poor indoor air quality – Excessive amounts of dust, pollen, and mildew can accumulate in your AC unit, eventually being blown into your home. This can be especially problematic for those with allergies or asthma.
  • Reduced efficiency – A clogged or dirty AC unit can reduce efficiency which in turn will drive up your energy bills. A clogged or dirty unit can also result in a shorter lifespan for your AC unit.
  • A decrease in airflow – If your unit is dirty, it will reduce the amount of air flowing through it. This can lead to increased energy usage and poor indoor air quality.
air conditioner cleaning

Make sure you have clean air filters

For your AC unit to work properly, you need to have clean air filters. Similar to how your car will not run as smoothly if you don’t change the oil, a clogged air filter will cause your unit to work much harder than it needs to. That could mean less efficient cooling and a shorter lifespan for your AC unit. Changing out the furnace filters is a task that should be done every few months but if you have pets or notice dust, you’ll want to do it more often.

Ensure none of the vents in your home are blocked

When your AC unit is running, it’s just as important that nothing is blocking the vents where the air is flowing out of your home. If the vents are blocked, the unit will have to work harder and may not adequately cool your home. Vents can become blocked by leaves, dust, and other debris. As autumn approaches, it’s especially important to keep your vents clear of leaves, as they can easily block your vents. You may also want to check your vents during spring and summer as well, as pests such as mice are also known to nest in vents.

To keep your vents clear, consider installing a leaf blower attachment on your vacuum. This will allow you to quickly and efficiently remove leaves and other debris that may have built up around your vents.

Check that your outdoor AC unit isn’t obstructed

To ensure that your unit is operating at peak efficiency, you should periodically check that nothing is obstructing it. You should make sure that any trees, plants, or shrubs are not growing too close to your unit.

This could result in damage to your unit and reduced airflow through it. You should also make sure that there are no fallen branches or other items near the unit that could be blown or thrown into the unit during high winds.

Air Conditioner Cleaning by a HVAC Professional

In order to clean the coil of your outdoor AC unit, a professional will use a cleaning solution that’s specially formulated to break up the dirt and grime on the coil. The cleaning solution is then vacuumed out, leaving the coil clean and operational once again. The process is relatively quick and shouldn’t disrupt the operation of your AC or cause any damage. And, it will help prevent the coil from becoming blocked by dirt and debris, allowing the unit to operate more efficiently. This can translate into reduced energy bills and a longer lifespan for your AC unit.

A Professional AC Tune Up

A professional AC tune-up or annual AC Maintenance will allow a technician to examine your outdoor AC unit and diagnose any issues that may be contributing to reduced efficiency or reduced lifespan. During the tune-up, the technician will examine the condition of the coil, check for possible damage caused by animals or weather, replace any filters that may be dirty, and thoroughly clean the unit. A tune-up is recommended every two years. If you notice reduced airflow, an increase in utility bills, or that your unit is making strange noises, it’s best to have it examined as soon as possible. A technician can help identify potential issues and resolve them before they become serious problems.

Keeping your air conditioning unit clean can help ensure that it’s operating efficiently and that it lasts a long time. To keep your outdoor AC unit clean, you should check it once a month during the hotter months and more frequently during the cooler months when leaves and debris tend to build up quickly.

Dean’s Club Evaluations Help You Avoid Costly Repairs

Dean’s Club Members get the added value of a Dean’s Club evaluation where we we examine the coil for damage, check for any obstructions, and clean the air filters as needed. Keeping your AC unit clean can help reduce energy usage, cut down on utility bills, extend the lifespan of your unit, and keep your home cooler and more comfortable all year long.

What Does a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Do? 

Despite the hypothetical alternative of venting out your bathroom with an open window, all bathrooms require a bathroom exhaust fan for ventilation. 

If you don’t have or use proper ventilation in your bathroom when you are running water for long periods of time, the paint and infrastructure such as drywall and wooden supports will begin to decay. The paint will peel, mold will grow, and materials will start to rot and decompose. Although they sell mold-resistant paints for the bathroom, they should be used to supplement your protection, not as the sole prophylactic. A ventilation fan is also important when you are cleaning. The fumes from cleaning products can become toxic and overwhelming. In addition, when you have all the humidity building up in your bathroom, it will start to smell dank like a wet dog from the mildew and bacteria thrive.

bathroom exhaust fan

A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Improves Indoor Air Quality

 

The ventilation in your bathroom solves a myriad of potential problems in one shot, these are the most common reasons you should have a bathroom exhaust fan

  • Comfort:  As the warmer months approach, be sure to utilize your bathroom exhaust fan to help circulate the air, keeping you feeling fresh, cool and clean.
  • Prevent Mold Growth: Mold and mildew are not only unsightly but can cause damage to bathroom surfaces. Shower curtains can get mildew patches, towels can become smelly, and countertops will need more frequent cleaning. Your bathroom ceiling may also develop mildew without a fan. An exhaust fan can eliminate the moisture in the air and keep your bathroom dry.
  • Aesthetics: Peeling paint or wallpaper can be caused by excess moisture in enclosed or smaller spaces. Wood floors and doors can also be damaged by humidity. Using an exhaust fan to pull out the water in the air can help eliminate damage to your bathroom walls and floors.
  • Eliminate Odors: Bathroom fans can help get rid of foul smells more quickly. Exhaust fans work efficiently to keep your bathroom fresh and free from bad odors, smells and common bathroom scents by pulling the unpleasant aromas out.
  • Efficiency: While a hot shower may be just what you need to begin your day, stepping out into a hazy bathroom with fogged-up mirrors when you need to get ready in a hurry isn’t ideal. An exhaust fan can help clear the air in the bathroom quickly and efficiently, so you’re able to get on with your day.

Is opening a window better than a bathroom exhaust fan?

An open window simply doesn’t compete with a fan. If you leave your window open when it is raining, it will become more humid in the bathroom. If you leave it open when it is cold out, you are throwing money out the window and will see an increase on your heating bill. Although an open window is a nice feature when it is springtime and everything is wonderful outside, 90 percent of the time you won’t have the courage to open that window when you are in the bathroom.

 

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Size Guide

Choosing a bathroom exhaust fan that’s properly sized for your bathroom is something a Dean’s HVAC professional will be able to help you determine. The bigger the bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll need. CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.  A fan should have a CFM rating high enough to replace the air in your bathroom at a rate of eight times per hour.

For bathrooms between 50 and 100 square feet, estimate 1 CFM per square foot of floor space. For smaller bathrooms (less than 50 sq. feet), 50 CFM. For larger than 100 square feet, you have to tally the CRM requirement for each bathroom fixture to estimate your needs. Add 50 CFM for each toilet, tub or shower. And 100 CFM for jetted tubs.

The bigger your bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll require.

 

The formula used to determine the CFM 

Length x Width x Height x 0.13 = Minimum CFM rating

Most fans will be rated from 50 to 110 CFM.

The Problem: Water Dripping From Your Air Conditioner

You walk outside your home on a hot summer day and notice that your AC leaking water.

 You’ve never noticed this before and you still have cold air coming out of the air conditioner, is this just what happens or is this a sign of a bigger problem?

This is a common home cooling problem. Before you panic — here are a few of the reasons and possible causes for your air conditioner leaking water.

AC Leaking Water

Reasons Your an AC Leaking Water

  • Your Filter is Clogged – If your filter is dirty, the air won’t be moving efficiently through your system. This can cause ice to form on your unit’s evaporator coils. When the ice melts, you’ll see a puddle of water underneath it. Check your filters periodically (about once a month) to make sure that your filter is not clogged and that the unit is working efficiently.
  • The Overflow Pan is Damaged – The overflow pan is designed to catch any condensation from your air conditioning unit. This is especially important on hot, humid days!  If there are small holes or cracks in your overflow pan, you may notice the water leaking through
  • The Condensate Line is Clogged – This is the most common cause of air conditioner leaks. When the condensate line is clogged, water will back up and flood the overflow pan.

These are all issues that can be fixed by a professional HVAC technician.  Give us a call at Dean’s Home Services, we provide air conditioning services for the entire Twin Cities.  From Lakeville, MN to Forest Lake, MN, and everywhere in-between, Call Dean’s today to fix your AC problems.

Five Ways to Reduce the Humidity Inside Your Home

Reduce Humidity

For everyone in Minnesota, it’s never the heat, it’s the humidity and on the hottest summer days we’re all looking for a way to reduce the humidity inside our homes. Keeping your indoor humidity in a healthy range can also be a sign of a larger problem like a leak or structural damage. Read on the learn some tips and tricks to combat indoor humidity during a sticky Minnesota summer

1. Use Fans

One way to get rid of the humidity in your is to turn it into an icebox (nobody is gonna do that) instead, run the vent fans in your house. When you’re cooking, run the vent fan over your stove to capture that heat. When you take a shower, be sure to get those fans going, too.

Keeping those vent fans running will help move that moisture outside, keeping your house drying and more comfortable.

2. Skip the Hot Shower

A major source of humidity in your home is hot water, specifically from a hot shower. While many of us need a hot shower to start the day, research has found that a cold shower can be good for your health.

When you get out of the shower, think about how much moisture is trapped in that room. The mirror and the shower doors are fogged up, and when you open the door, that moisture doesn’t just vanish. Lowering your shower temperature by just a few degrees can go a long way toward decreasing the humidity in your house.

3. Reduce Humidity by Having a Dehumidifier Installed

Buying a dehumidifier can save money on AC in the long run. By reducing high humidity in your house during the summer, you make the conditions of your home feel cooler. Therefore, you can increase the temperature of your AC and save money. 

4. Have Your AC Checked to Ensure it’s working properly

Although it may be difficult, increasing the temperature on the Air Conditioner can help reduce humidity. An alternative to blasting the AC is to raise the temperature but then turn on the fan instead.

A common cause of high humidity in your home can be due to an air conditioner that’s failing to dehumidify as it should. As temperatures increases, humidity decreases. The evaporator coils in your air conditioner are supposed to get rid of the humidity. The evaporator will accept liquid refrigerant, then use it to cool your house.

5. Put Out Charcoal Briquettes

This is gonna sound strange but this actually works. Putting out a bucket of charcoal briquettes can actually help keep your home less humid. Charcoal is incredibly absorbent, which is part of what makes it so good for use in filters and overdose situations. This works for dehumidifying your house, too.

Put out a bucket of charcoal briquettes in a few strategic areas of your home. You can put them in decorative flower pots if you like in order to make them look nicer, or in a coffee can, punch a few holes in the lid, and place them in the humid areas. Replace the charcoal every few months.

Dean’s HVAC Professionals can help you better manage the humidity inside your home, contact us here or give Dean’s Home Services a call.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Saves You Money While Protecting Your Home

Dryer Vent Cleaning is just one of many home maintenance tasks that will save you money.  Having your dryer vent cleaned every few years is something all of us that own homes in Minnesota should be doing because it helps prevent fires but can actually help you save money! It’s also important because it could save you from a fire.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year clothes dryers are the cause of more than 2,900 home fires. And, aside from being a fire hazard, it also ncrease drying time and spikes energy costs. Regularly cleaning your dryer vent can prevent home fires, but it’s smart to leave the job to a professional

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Signs you Need to Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned

  • Clothes take longer to dry
  • The dryer is hot to the touch after a cycle
  • Your laundry room is hot after a cycle
  • The dryer emits a burning smell
  • There’s inconsistent airflow from the exhaust vent
  • Excess lint appears in the lint trap after each cycle
  • You find debris outside the dryer vent

Reasons to Hire a Professional

Shorter Drying Times

A dryer that’s clogged with lint is an obvious fire hazard but it also ends up taking more time to dry clothes because lint buildup makes it difficult for the humid air to escape, allowing moisture to persist. By having your dryer vents professionally cleaned, you can shorten drying times and spend less time waiting on those clean clothes.

Lowers Your Energy Bill

When your dryer takes longer to dry clothes due to a lint clog, it ends up using more energy. Naturally, this means spending more money on utilities. Having your dryer vents regularly maintained meaning higher energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and less money spent just to dry your clothes.

Call Dean’s for all Minnesota Home Maintenance Projects

Dean’s HVAC or duct cleaning professionals are able to properly clean your dryer vent giving you peace of mind that it’s done correctly.

Five Home AC Maintenance Mistakes Minnesotans Make During the Summer

Minnesota Common home Comfort Mistakes

Home AC maintenance isn’t something we think about or wish we didn’t until it’s 95 degrees. We all know how Minnesota gets in the summer and in order to stay comfortable, your furnace and air conditioner need to be running efficiently. These are good reminders for each of us to follow so we can spend more time doing the projects in and outside our house that actually need to be completed.

Here are the most common mistakes we see homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC systems.

Home AC Maintenance Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Skipping Regular Maintenance of Your Air Conditioning Unit

Regular HVAC system maintenance is vital to your comfort level and to your wallet. A professional can come to your home on a scheduled basis to make sure your furnace and your AC unit are running perfectly. The time to keep your system operating smoothly is now, not when it breaks down on the hottest or coldest day of the year!

Installing Your Own Thermostat

A thermostat needs to be installed correctly to work properly. Not all thermostats are created equally, at times, homeowners will attempt to install a smart thermostat that doesn’t actually work well with your heating and cooling system.

At Dean’s, we have the expertise to take care of this for you and to make sure you are getting the right thermostat for your unit and your home.

Blocking Your Grates and Grills

Your HVAC system works on a free flow of air throughout your home. Make sure your grates and grills are not blocked by:

  • Plants
  • Bookcases
  • Furniture
  • Curtains

Closing Doors to Rooms

In a forced-air system, closing doors to rooms you rarely use can make your system less efficient. The system depends on the free flow of air to keep your home cool or warm.

Not Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean

A superficial spray on the outside of your air conditioner is an easy maintenance task that can help make your air conditioner more efficient. An HVAC professional during a maintenance tune-up will go further to deep clean and make sure that there is a clear flow of air to the unit.

Before AC Cleaning
Home AC Maintenance Clogged AC
After AC Cleaning
Cleaned air conditioning unit

Guilty of these home comfort mistakes? Dean’s is here to help!

At Dean’s, we are always available to come to your home for maintenance or other service calls. We can also give you some additional tips to keep your HVAC system running optimally. Contact us today to schedule a visit from one of our expert technicians!

Improve the quality of the air inside your home

If you have pets, allergies, notice strange odors or if you keep finding dust throughout your house, the iWave-R Air Purifier can drastically improve the air in your home. Living in Minnesota, we spend a lot of time inside and should admit that we can become “nose blind” to certain odors in our homes.

Adam is an HVAC Service professional with Dean’s Home Services, as the owner of three dogs, Adam quickly noticed a difference after installing the iWave-R in his own home. When air passes over the iWave Air Ionization System, ions produced by the device help reduce certain viruses, bacteria, and other airborne particles, helping to create a cleaner environment.

Cleaning the Air in Your Living Space

iWave-R is a self-cleaning needlepoint bipolar ionization generator designed specifically for treating air in residential duct A/C systems. As the air flows past the iWave-R, positive and negative ions actively clean the supply air, reducing certain bacteria and viruses in the coil and living space. When installed in your HVAC system, air passes over the iWave Air Ionization System, ions produced by the device help reduce certain viruses, bacteria, and other airborne particles, helping to create a cleaner environment.

iWave-R Features

  • Patented self-cleaning design ensures ongoing peak performance
  • Needlepoint bipolar ionization actively treats air in the living space
  • Validated to meet UL 867 ozone requirements
  • For duct systems up to 6 tons (2400 CFM)
  • Multi-voltage input – 24VAC to 240VAC!
  • Universal mounting with magnets
  • Flexible design with no replacement parts
  • Reduces certain bacteria and viruses
  • Reduces odors, smoke, static electricity and other airborne particles
  • Keeps coil cleaner
  • Programmable cleaning cycle
  • Alarm contact option for secondary notification
  • UL and cUL recognized

Five Air Purifying Plants

From reducing stress levels to improving your focus, houseplants have many benefits. Did you know that some species of plants are also great for filtering the air inside your home?

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are used to make most home products—furniture, paint, carpets, and even the construction materials used to make the home itself. These products are a necessary part of living in the modern world but when in our homes, they have a negative impact. As houses have become more energy-efficient, the need for fresh air has increased. An oft-cited NASA Clean Air Study found that some indoor plants can reduce indoor air pollutants, including formaldehyde. Plants are an easy DIY step to improve indoor air quality.

Although it would take filling your home or office with ridiculously massive amounts of foliage to impact VOC levels, indoor plants can still improve your air quality.

Indoor Plants Can…

  • reduce irritation to eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • prevent or ease coughing and congestion
  • lower your stress
  • boost your attention capacity

Purifying indoor plants reduce levels of CO2 and increase relative humidity by helping you get rid of stale air and act as a natural humidifier, which can prevent or ease irritation to your eyes, nose, throat, and even lungs.

Five Houseplants that Improve Indoor Health

Spider Plants

Spider plants are among the easiest air-purifying indoor plants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. Fans of bright, indirect sunlight, spider plants will send out shoots with flowers that eventually grow into baby spider plants or spiderettes.

Ficus/Weeping Fig

The ficus is a tree in its native lands of southeast Asia and parts of Australia. When it grows indoors, it’s a hardy plant that can eventually reach 10 feet. Grow this low-maintenance beauty in bright, indirect light, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

When the temps are well above freezing, this houseplant can also be taken outside to spruce up your porch or patio.

Image of two green plants in isolation

Peace Lily

Peace lily plants are relatively small compared to many of the plants on this list, so they’re ideal for compact spaces. Put peace lilies in a shady spot and keep the soil moist without overwatering. Easy to grow, these plants will flower for much of the summer.

Boston Fern

These plants prefer to clean the air from a cool location with high humidity and indirect light. They’re relatively easy to grow, but they do need to stay moist. Check your Boston fern’s soil daily to see if it needs water and give it a good soak once per month.

Snake Plant

This is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. Although it does need to be watered occasionally, it generally prefers drier conditions. The snake plant tolerates most light levels, making it any easy choice for just about any room.

Houseplants are a great supplement to improve the quality of the air in your home but nothing beats a HVAC checkup! Whether or not you’re concerned about your thermostat, pilot light, heat pump, home airflow or indoor air quality, schedule a routine HVAC maintenance appointment! Dean’s Home Services HVAC Professionals will evaluate and clean your unit, and make you aware of any necessary repairs. Routine inspections circumvent emergency repairs, which are very expensive. This simple step will save you a bundle of money in the long run. Also, take the opportunity to discuss possible IAQ home improvements with a Dean’s Home Service professional.

Waking up to no heat can be a nightmare. Dean’s Home Servies is your trusted HVAC expert in the Twin Cities area with over 100+ years of combined experience in home heating. We can quickly identify the issue with your furnace or boiler, present you with options that allow you to get back into a warm home.

Choose the best HVAC Pros in Minnesota.

Trust Dean’s Home Services for your home heating needs. You never want a broken heater to ruin your winter. That’s why Dean’s Home Services HVAC professionals are here to save the day. With over 100 years of combined industry experience, they’re able to quickly identify the issue with your furnace or boiler and present you with options that match your needs to the proper results. Don’t wait for your home to suffer in the cold—call now!

Save on your energy bill with a new furnace.

When you’re looking to save money, nothing beats an energy-efficient furnace. Start saving now and get the most out of your investment by modernizing your home’s heating system with an energy-efficient furnace from Dean’s Home Services.

Home Heating Help When You Need it

Whether it’s an emergency or not, no heat in your home will ruin your day. Dean’s Home Services is here to meet your heating needs. If you notice your heater is broken, our team of certified HVAC professionals is available by phone 24/7. Dean’s home heating professionals have the knowledge to work on all furnace and boiler models, we’ll present you with options that match your needs and get you the proper results—all in a professional manner.

No Heat Call Dean’s For Everything Home Comfort

Dean’s team of HVAC professionals serves the entire Twin Cities area including Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs, based out of Maple Grove, our home heating service is here to help.

For a Home Heating Service specialist in the Twin Cities and the surrounding areas, schedule an appointment today.

WITH DEAN’S HOME HEATING SERVICE SERVICES YOU GET:

  • Over 100 Years of Combined Industry Experience
  • We Strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction
  • Fast and Reliable Service
  • Clean & Friendly Service Professionals
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