I think this was based on the 12 SEER having higher air volume over the
evaporator, so the evap should be at a higher temp and have less
condensation, right? But I don't think it took into account that the 12
seer evap coil will often have more surface area than the 10, so
there's more area for condensation to collect (which may or may not be
a big enough factor to compensate).
But the big one is, if you have a multispeed air handler, you can hook
a humidistat to the AC system to run the fan slower when humidity is
too high. So a 12 seer could remove as much moisture as a 10 when it
is absolutely necessary, but run at peak efficiency when
dehumidification is not necessary. The 10 seer on the other hand, can
never attain the efficiency of the 12.
"Sir, you're drunk."
"And Madam, you are ugly. But in the morning, I'll be sober."
I don't use it. I sell and install the equipment. When I bid someone a 12
SEER unit and they say it's too much, I tell them the price on a 10 SEER
unit. I also tell them the 12 SEER stuff will cost less to operate.
First you need to read the actual magazine story, not the annual report.
The magazine version usually gives good information about the methodology.
As someone noted the frequency of repair information comes from annual
surveys that they send out to their subscribers and maybe some others.
This is one area where I may question the results you get from CR. I am
generally a fan of their results, but in the case of this type of equipment
the installation is a very large part of the results you get. Poor job and
the best unit will not do well.
In this case you start by finding the professional who is going to do
the install. Then let them pick, with your input, the product for you.
They are going to pick something that is good and fits your needs.
Start off by asking your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers for
names and recommendations. Go from there. Get a couple of estimates.
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