When shopping for a new air conditioning unit, one of the most important factors to consider is its energy-efficiency. After all, your cooling costs can have a substantial impact on your electric bill, particularly if you live in a climate with long, unforgiving summers. Enhanced features can make one AC unit more efficient than another, such as a variable speed compressor. However, if you’re not well-versed in HVAC technology, these terms can be confusing and make comparing “apples to apples” difficult.
Instead, you can look at an AC unit’s SEER rating, a number that represents just how efficiently the unit should operate under typical conditions. Below, we’ll explain more about what SEER is and how it can help you when comparing air conditioners.
What is SEER?
“SEER” stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.” In technical terms, this is a ratio of the air conditioner’s cooling output over an average cooling season, divided by the energy it consumes in Watt-Hours. The most important thing to know is that the higher the SEER rating an AC unit has, the more efficiently it runs. For instance, this means that an AC unit with an 18 SEER rating will typically cost you less to operate over the same period as an AC unit with a 14 SEER rating.
What is a “good” SEER rating?
The Department of Energy establishes minimum energy efficiency standards for air conditioners based on U.S. region. For the Southwest and Southeast, the minimum SEER rating allowed is 14, while in the North, the minimum SEER rating can be 13. If you own an aging AC unit, there’s a good chance that its rating is below the minimum, which might be why it costs so much to cool your home. By replacing an air conditioner that’s even just 10 years old with a newer, more efficient model, you could save around 20 to 40 percent off your cooling costs.
Above, we explained that the higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the AC unit is. Keep in mind, though, that even units with a 14 or 16 rating can still run efficiently. Also consider that your AC system’s efficiency can be impacted by climate, your home’s layout, dirty or leaky ductwork, air leaks, inadequate insulation, lack of maintenance, and numerous other factors.
Bottom line: SEER can help you compare one AC unit to another, but you don’t need the highest rating possible to achieve comfort and energy savings.
“Texans Know Heat, We Know Cooling”
At Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, we provide our customers with a thorough, personalized consultation to help them select the best option to meet their cooling needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or give us a call today to learn how we can help you: (972) 201-3253.