While in other parts of the country, homeowners are getting ready to schedule heating maintenance appointments and turn their sights to fall, we’re still focusing on our air conditioners around here. And perhaps yours isn’t performing up to par and has you considering an upgrade. Whether this describes you or you just want to know more about the intricacies of air conditioners, there’s a term you should know–SEER. And yes, it matters!
Your air conditioner’s SEER rating describes the energy efficiency ratio that applies to all cooling and heat pump systems. You should be able to use this rating to guide your AC choices now and in the future, if you want a truly efficiency and effective air conditioner.
Read on to learn more about SEER ratings and just why they matter so much.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating, and this is a rating that explains the cooling output of your air conditioner during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period–in other words, it’s the ratio of energy that is consumed versus the cooling output provided.
If you have an air conditioner that’s consuming a lot of energy but not providing much cooling power, you’ve got a system with a low SEER rating, while if you have a highly efficient, powerful air conditioner, you’re dealing with a high SEER rating.
Why This Matters
What are the practical applicants of knowing air conditioner SEER ratings, for homeowners? Well, it can be used to give you a guideline when you’re choosing a new air conditioner for installation. If you want a high-efficiency cooling or heat pump system, you’ll want a unit with a high SEER rating. Of course, higher-rated systems are more costly upfront, but what you save in monthly cooling costs more than makes up for this.
The Department of Energy has specific energy conservation rules that apply to all residential HVAC systems, so when purchasing a new system, you don’t have to worry too much about getting a completely inefficient system. In the state of Florida, it’s required that AC systems at least have a SEER rating of 14.
The reason this all matters is because it makes you an informed consumer when purchasing your next appliance. If an amateur tries to sell you a cheap AC system, for instance, and you find out the SEER rating is below 14, there’s a serious problem and you need to avoid this.
The best way to ensure you’re getting a system with the right SEER rating for your specific household is by working with a trustworthy and experiences professional who really knows their way around various systems and efficiency ratings–and who installs and services top-quality HVAC systems. With an investment as big as your air conditioner, you really don’t want to risk subpar equipment or subpar work!