What is a SEER rating?
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a rating system for AC units, and you’re likely doing the smart thing by investigating its implications before making a purchase. The SEER rating relates to how much energy an AC unit will consume over the course of one year. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has set minimum efficiency levels that all new air conditioning units must meet as indicated by their SEER ratings. Many options exist on the market today that surpass the DOE’s minimum requirements due to advancements in technology and efficiency by manufacturers since your old AC unit was produced. Consulting with experts and investigating your options fully before making a purchase decision will ensure you end up with an air conditioning unit that best suits your needs both now and in the future.
The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit
In order to understand how a SEER rating will affect your utility bills, it is important to understand what SEER stands for. SEER is an acronym that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio is a measure of how much energy a cooling system uses over the course of a season compared to how much heat it produces. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system and the lower your utility bills will be. However, it is important to remember that the size and insulation factor of your house, as well as the cost of electricity, will also affect your overall savings.
Seer rating averages
In 2006, the Department of Energy (DOE) began requiring all newly installed central air conditioning (AC) units to have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13. Units manufactured in previous years were often energy hogs—many with AC SEER ratings as low as 6. Higher-efficiency models are available that come with numbers in the mid-20s. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. For example, a unit with a SEER rating of 20 is about 33% more efficient than a unit with a SEER rating of 15. In addition to being more energy efficient, higher-SEER units tend to be quieter and have lower operating costs. As a result, upgrading to a higher-efficiency AC unit can provide significant benefits for both homeowners and the environment.
Cost can be affected by SEER rating
The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is. This can translate into savings on your energy bill, but it also comes with a higher price tag. Fortunately, many AC manufacturers offer a range of options to meet different budget requirements. So whether you’re looking for the most efficient model on the market or something more affordable, you can find an AC unit that’s right for you.
SEER rating is based on your state
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) raised the minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to 14 for air conditioners in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Those not living in the increased-SEER states may still have SEER 13 units installed. Talk to your local HVAC contractor to see if upgrading to a higher-efficiency unit makes sense for you.
Other things to consider when selecting an AC unit
When shopping for an air conditioner, energy efficiency is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider. You’ll also want to look at the unit’s power, expressed in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Another consideration is noise level. Some units are very quiet, while others produce a lot of racket. Local municipalities may have restrictions on noise levels. Reliability is important, too. You don’t want to buy a unit that breaks down often. Smart connectability is another feature to look for. Some units can be controlled with a smartphone or other device. Finally, check the warranty before you buy. A longer warranty usually means the manufacturer is confident in the quality of their product.
We can help
A new air conditioner is a big investment, so you want to be sure you’re getting the best possible model for your needs. King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help you choose the right size unit for your home. Once you know the size you need, you can select a unit with the desired SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). With careful selection, your new AC unit will provide years of efficient and comfortable cooling for your home.