If you’re like most people, when you hear the word SEER, you may immediately think of searing a steak or piece of meat. However, a SEER rating means something a little different in our industry, and it’s an important factor when shopping for an HVAC system. Let us give you the rundown.
WHAT DOES SEER STAND FOR?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio. This is the ratio of the air conditioner’s output over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it uses in watts-hours. The higher the rating, the more comfortable you’ll be per energy dollar. The efficiency rating of your system can vary depending on the size of your home, the current shape of your ductwork, as well as external elements. You may achieve a rating one day of 21, but it could dip below that number on other days.
The rating is calculated during the cooling season, taking in factors such as indoor temperature and various outdoor temperatures that range from 60 to 100 degrees.
Most air conditioners have a standard SEER rating that ranges from 13 to 21. SEER ratings can differ per your geographical region. The minimum in the southwest and southeast is 14, and in the north, it goes down to 13. If you’re system registers at a 13 or 14, it doesn’t often mean that your system is inefficient. Older systems can register as low as an 8 or 9.
WHY A HIGHER SEER RATING IS DESIRABLE
Think of a SEERs rating as a maximum efficiency rating. It’s very similar in the way you get certain miles to the gallon on your car. You’ll want the most efficient system possible.
Along with the savings of a more energy-efficient system, you’ll also enjoy greater air comfort from a system with a higher SEER rating. These units typically have a 2-stage or variable-speed compressor and a variable-speed blower. Units with a lower rating have a single-stage compressor and run at one speed. This means you’ll likely experience cold spots and higher humidity levels in your home. Your A/C will work overtime to reduce humidity levels, running up a pretty hefty energy bill.
IS THERE A MAGIC SEER RATING?
There’s no magical rating that will solve all your HVAC unit needs, but we’d say that anything over 13 is a good option. For instance, if you have an older unit with a rating of 9 and replace it with a unit that registers a 16, then you’ll significantly reduce the cost of cooling your home.
When purchasing a unit, inquire about any manufacturer’s rebates and tax credits that help make a great unit more affordable.
If you have more questions about a SEER rating, please give our experts a call! If you’d like to make an appointment, contact us at 866-797-1535, or schedule an appointment online. Visit our website for more information on our vast number of services, including air conditioning, heating, duct cleaning, indoor air quality, maintenance, commercial HVAC, industrial, and marine services.